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New York City Proclaims ‘Biz Markie Day’

The late rapper Biz Markie has a day of his own in New York City. Every Aug. 31 will officially be recognized as Biz Markie Day.

On Oct. 10, New York Amsterdam News reported that a ceremony at Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater had recently been held to mark the proclamation. Fittingly, those whom Biz Markie inspired were featured performers at the event, including DJ Hollywood, D. Cross, and Oran Juice Jones, who reflected on Biz Markie’s influence on hip-hop, saying, “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.”

Biz Markie was born in Harlem, New York City, and raised on Long Island.

Laurie Cumbo, New York City’s commissioner of public affairs, read the city’s official proclamation of Biz Markie Day shortly before giving the stage to Tara Hall, Biz Markie’s widow. Hall told the crowd gathered for the occasion, “I’m so touched right now, I almost was in tears because of the love he’s receiving.”

Often referred to as the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop,” Biz Markie was known for his jovial manner and endorsement of acts like Roxanne Shanté, and especially for his 1989 song “Just a Friend.”

The artist struggled with health issues related to a decade-long battle with type 2 diabetes. His illness led to hospitalization in April 2020. In December of that year, it was reported that Markie entered a rehabilitation facility as a result of a stroke he’d had suffered after going into a diabetic coma. He died at a Baltimore hospital on July 16, 2021, at age 57. Hall was at his side when he passed.

Prior to his death, the rapper had spoken about the mismanagement of his type 2 diabetes. He told USA Today what his doctor informed him could happen as a result.

“They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen,” he said.

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