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    Biz Markie is a familiar name to many hip-hop enthusiasts of the 80s and 90s. Known as Marcel Hall to many, his alias Biz Markie, or the human beatbox, became prominent in the early 80s. Markie magnetized his fans with the release of his first single, "Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz," produced by Juice Crew member Marley Marl with Prism Records on 12" and cassette. He later released the single on his first album, "Goin Off," in 1988.

    Biz, now 51, celebrates 2016 as the year that marks the thirtieth anniversary of his first single. He plans to celebrate all year long by performing throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. “We are going to go out on a tour out in May and June and I’m on the 80’s and 90’s Mashup Bash tour now,” he says.

    The 80ss and 90ss Mashup Bash will alternate between DJ sets from Markie and live sets from Phunk Nasty's. The crowd can expect to hear tracks from his album "Goin Off," says Markie. “You will hear everything! I’m going to play it all.” His favorite track from that album? A tie between "Biz Dance" and "Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz."

    There are some obvious contrasts between the advances made in 80s and 90s hip-hop.  Markie explains this from his personal experiences, “The 80s’ was really experimental with record companies. But the 90s…People knew how to market hip-hop in 90s.” 

    “I got to be accomplished in the same era. You know, from 1980 to 1986, it was my building era. Then, after that, I got to be professional.”

    And 30 years later, he is still a professional. The new year will continue to be a big year for Biz, as he’ll be performing and DJ’ing at the Denton Music Festival on March 12 and SXSW on March 13 and 14. “It’s going to be a busy time. Festivals bring a melting pot of people, but I like music festivals. It’s a big party,” he says.

    You can also catch him aboard the The 80s Cruise ship that will cruise back to 80s at the end of February. The ship will feature Huey Lewis & The News, Kool & The Gang and many other ultimate 80s entertainers.

    “I’ve been doing cruises lately. I’m excited to be around people that love 80s music. 70s, 80s, 90s music… We getting ready to get down with the get down. It’s going to be sexy and grown.”

    In 2014, Biz announced that he had lost a remarkable total of 140 pounds. The rap icon shared with ABC News that he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and realized he need to make a change. “If I wanted to live, I had to change the way I was eating."

    “I wanted to live. So, I went sugar-free everything. I might go off a little bit and get a taste of sugar, but it’s not for long. I’m off red meat and pork, too." He also drinks a lot of water, coconut water and diet sodas, including his favorite zero-calorie soda, Zevia. When his weight loss was announced, he shared with ABC News, “Instead of drinking regular soda, I drink Zevia to make you believia!”

    “I still believe in that! It’s sweet and natural. And it tastes good. You need to try it,” he said with a laugh. The same laugh that you can hear in his most successful single, "Just a Friend," from the album "The Biz Never Sleeps."

    He has some advice for those struggling to keep a New Years Resolution to get fit and be healthy, “You’ve got to be disciplined. Cut your intake of food in half and exercise more. You’ve got to walk, run… some sort of activity every day.”

    What better way to nosedive into nostalgia than to celebrate the golden age of hip-hop in one night dedicated to a mashup of the two decades that changed hip-hop forever? “You better come out Friday. It’s going to be crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy. It’s going to be incredible,” Biz says.

    When: January 15, 9 p.m. 
    Where: Mercury Ballroom, 611 S 4th St, Louisville, KY, 40202
    Cost: $15


    Images: and The Phunk Nasty's Facebook.

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    About Alexis Messmer

    2015 University of Louisville graduate. All things social media, marketing, writing, sneakers, photography, music, and a whole lot of coffee.

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