On July 16, Biz Markie passed away, after suffering from complications from diabetes. That came two weeks after initial rumors that he died. Biz was known worldwide for his 1989 breakout hit single, “Just A Friend.”
In a new interview with HipHopDX though, Biz’s DJ and close friend, DJ Cool V, explained how they never got paid from this record. They relied mostly on money earned from performances.
“The sweetness comes in that we were able to perform it for almost 31 years,” DJ Cool V explained. “And now comes the other side of it — we never made money off the record. I still haven’t got paid for that record…We made the money off the shows and we had a great performing career. But now it gets back to the bittersweet because every time I hear it, it’s going to remind me of Biz, but it’s also going to remind me of how I can’t make more money off of it. Everybody’s feeding their family off our work and we’ve never made money off that record.”
Cool V added though how game-changing that “Just A Friend” was. When Biz was in the booth recording this record, they both knew that this one would be major.
“I got [Biz] in the booth and he was singing, and even though it might not be perfectly correct to anybody else, the feeling of it was good,” Cool V said. “He had his fist balled up and he was really trying. He was really, really crooning and I said, ‘That’s it.’ And he had one take. Then he had another take that was not as good as the first one. Right?” Everybody called us crazy. Like, ‘Yo, you going to really let him do that?’ I said, ‘Man, he feeling it. I got a good feeling about this record.’ And we did it. It just took off. It morphed into something that we could never imagine.”
Biz’s funeral ended up being held on August 2, in his hometown of NYC. The Obamas even sent a letter to his family on the day of, offering their condolences.