During a recent ceremony at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater, the legacy of beatbox king Biz Markie was further cemented as the city announced that August 31 is now officially recognized as “Biz Markie Day.” A number of legendary and aspiring artists were in attendance, as well as city officials.
Hip-hop pioneer DJ Hollywood kicked off the event by spinning several throwback tracks, and attendees formed a Soul Train line as they absorbed the music. D. Cross paid homage to one of his major influences by doing his own renditions of some of Markie’s classics.
“And we’re going to get into it like this,” he started his set before reciting “The Biz Dance,” “Vapors,” “The Biz Is Going Off,” and “Make the Music,” all while performing Biz’s dance onstage.
Soul singer Oran Juice Jones reflected, “In life, it’s not the journey or destiny that’s important…what’s important is the people you bump into along the way, and I didn’t grow up with him. I bumped into Biz along the way, and every time I bumped into him, he was a beautiful cat.”
A local female beatboxer shined during her set in a performance Biz surely would have been proud of.
Laurie Cumbo, NYC Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, read a proclamation from the city, and acknowledged Mayor Adams’s gracious remembrance of Biz, before handing it off to Biz’s widow, Tara Hall.
“I’m so touched right now, I almost was in tears because of the love he’s receiving,” Mrs. Hall said before mentioning the “Just A Friend Foundation,” which has aligned with the Harlem Downing Association in providing local youths with nourishment and school supplies.
The Last Poets closed out the event with their second set of the day.