The Biz never sleeps, nobody beats the biz, and – as he once rapped, “You all know me as the B-I-Z/ I rock a microphone most definite-ly.” Yes, it’s a re-release of the Biz Markie the ‘clown prince’ of hip-hop’s second album – the 1989 classic The Biz Never Sleeps which went gold the first time around when it was released on Marley Marl’s Cold Chillin label. It’s the one with Just A Friend on and comes from a time when kicks were clean, chains were big and rappers’ hair had ridiculous partings shaved into it. Slap in the middle of the so-called ‘golden era’ in other words when hip-hop djs and producers were guardians of the funk and you couldn’t move for James Brown and The Meters samples and had to be really going some to find any hip-hop that was shit at all. The opposite of now basically – although it has to be said, the last twelve months haven’t been too bad. The Traffic label are releasing the LP in CD format (boo!) for the first time with some previously unreleased photography and various versions of Spring Again and Just A Friend that appeared on 12”s originally. Vinyl heroes – don’t despair – it’s out already on wax – now that’s the way round things should be!
(Out 26 March on Traffic)