"Just a Friend" is a song written,[3][4] produced[4] 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 number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990.[5]

"Just a Friend"
Single by Biz Markie
from the album The Biz Never Sleeps
ReleasedSeptember 26, 1989 (1989-09-26)[1]
LabelCold Chillin'
Songwriter(s)Marcel Hall[3][4]
Producer(s)Marcel Hall[4]
Biz Markie singles chronology
"Free Your Mind"
"Just a Friend"
Music video
"Just a Friend" on YouTube

Background edit

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. Markie's lyrics[6] 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.[7] Karma, a staff record producer for Cold Chillin' Records, told Vibe magazine in 2005 that he produced the single, but never received credit.[8] The single was certified platinum on April 12, 1990.[9] In 2021, it was ranked at No. 480 on Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Best Songs of All Time".[10]

Music video edit

The music video, directed by Lionel C. Martin, acts out the lyrics humorously and 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.[11][12][13]

Legacy edit

In November 2010, actor Jeff Goldblum performed the song in a duet with Markie on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The duet was highly requested by fans of the show and was set up by Fallon and the Roots.[14] In June 2023, his widow Tara Hall,[15] announced the Just a Friend Foundation[16] and confirmed a documentary about Biz Markie’s life, All Up in the Biz, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.[17]

Charts edit

Weekly charts edit

Charts (1989–1990) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[18] 66
UK Singles (OCC)[19] 55
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[5] 9
U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks (Billboard)[5] 37
U.S. Hot Rap Singles (Billboard)[5] 5

Year-end charts edit

Chart (1990)[20] Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 94

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[9] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References edit

  1. ^ "Amazon.com: Biz Markie: Just a Friend [Vinyl]: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  2. ^ Pitchfork Staff (August 24, 2015). "The 200 Best Songs of the 1980s". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 16, 2022. He was a DJ and beat boxer, so he was undoubtedly hip-hop, but his aesthetic was rooted in a comedy...
  3. ^ a b "Just a Friend – Biz Markie | Listen, Appearances, Song Review | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Biz Markie – Just A Friend (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "Biz Markie | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  6. ^ "Biz Markie - Just a Friend - The Lyrics and More". Just a Friend. 2023-07-08. Retrieved 2023-07-08.
  7. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs". September 29, 2008.
  8. ^ Kondo, Toshitaka (May 2005). "Karma". Vibe. p. 56.
  9. ^ a b "American single certifications – Biz Markie – Just a Friend". Recording Industry Association of America.
  10. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2021-09-15. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  11. ^ Shafer, Ellise; Barker, Andrew (2021-07-17), Biz Markie, Rapper Known for 'Just a Friend,' Dies at 57, retrieved 2024-02-18
  12. ^ "Video Static: Music Video News: May 7, 2006 - May 13, 2006". VideoStatic. Archived from the original on 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  13. ^ "Site Maintenance". Mvdbase.com. Archived from the original on 2021-10-27. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  14. ^ Escoto, Mark. "Biz Markie Talks Yo Gabba Gabba!, Beastie Boys, and Jeff Goldblum". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  15. ^ "Fat Joe Called Biz Markie's Wife Every Week for a Year Before Death". TMZ. 20 July 2021. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  16. ^ Eustice, Kyle (2023-06-16). "Biz Markie's Widow Commemorates Late MC Ahead Of Second Anniversary Of His Death". AllHipHop. Retrieved 2023-06-23.
  17. ^ "All Up in the Biz | 2023 Tribeca Festival". Tribeca. Retrieved 2023-06-24.
  18. ^ "Canadian dance peak". Collectionscanda.gc.ca. Retrieved 2021-04-24.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2023-03-12.
  20. ^ "Longbored Surfer – 2000". LongboredSurfer.com. Retrieved 2015-03-15.

External links edit