Just a Friend

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"Just a Friend" is a song written,[2][3] produced[3] and performed by American hip hop artist Biz Markie. It was released in September 1989 as the lead single from his album, The Biz Never Sleeps. It is Markie's most successful single, reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990.[4]

"Just a Friend"
Just a Friend single.jpg
Single by Biz Markie
from the album The Biz Never Sleeps
ReleasedSeptember 26, 1989 (1989-09-26)[1]
GenreComedy hip hop, pop rap
LabelCold Chillin'
Songwriter(s)Marcel Hall[2][3]
Producer(s)Marcel Hall[3]
Biz Markie singles chronology
"Free Your Mind"
"Just a Friend"
Music video
"Just a Friend" on YouTube

The song interpolates the 1968 song "(You) Got What I Need" recorded by Freddie Scott, whose basic chord and melody provided the base for the song's chorus and made it famous. Markie's lyrics describe romantic frustration after pursuing a woman who is actually romantically involved with another man who she falsely claims is "just a friend." Due to the widespread popularity of the song along with its acclaim and its influence on pop culture (and Markie's failure to have another charting Hot 100 song), Biz was classified by VH1 as a one-hit wonder, and "Just a Friend" was ranked 81st on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders in 2000, and later as number 100 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop in 2008.[5] Karma, a staff record producer for Cold Chillin' Records, told Vibe magazine in 2005 that he produced the single, but never received credit.[6]

The single was certified platinum on April 12, 1990.[7]

Music videoEdit

The music video, directed by Lionel C. Martin, chronicles the rapper/singer's woman problems.[8][9] At the climax of the video, Biz Markie's character stumbles upon a girl he was trying to date – not his girlfriend – kissing another man she had previously referred to as "just a friend".[10] It also includes a scene of Biz Markie singing the chorus dressed as Mozart in 18th-century clothing with a powdered wig in a candlelit room while playing the piano.

The video was mocked in a 1993 episode of MTV's animated series Beavis and Butt-Head.

Austin Mahone versionEdit

Austin Mahone sampled and interpolates the chorus of the song in his 2012 single Say You're Just a Friend featuring Flo Rida.


Weekly chartsEdit

Charts (1989–90) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 66
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 9
U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks (Billboard)[4] 37
U.S. Hot Rap Singles (Billboard)[4] 5

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1990)[12] Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 94


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[13] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Amazon.com: Biz Markie: Just a Friend [Vinyl]: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Just a Friend – Biz Markie | Listen, Appearances, Song Review | AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Biz Markie – Just A Friend (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Zink Media. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Biz Markie | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  5. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs". September 29, 2008.
  6. ^ Kondo, Toshitaka (May 2005). "Karma". Vibe. p. 56.
  7. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum Searchable Database – March 24, 2015". RIAA. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  8. ^ http://www.videostatic.com/vs/2006/week19/index.html#entry-10259599
  9. ^ "Site Maintenance". www.mvdbase.com.
  10. ^ "Biz Markie - Just A Friend lyrics | LyricsFreak". www.lyricsfreak.com.
  11. ^ "Canadian dance peak".
  12. ^ Pedro. "Longbored Surfer – 2000". LongboredSurfer.com. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "American single certifications – Biz Markie – Just a Friend". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit