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Biz Markie’s Got What We Need

Biz Markie brought his Decades Collide – 80’s vs 90’s tour to Raleigh for a night of singing, dancing, and reminiscing at The Ritz.

by: Darren Hohl

Biz Markie is most notably known for his 1989 hit “Just A Friend” from his second album The Biz Never Sleeps. While he hasn’t made it back to the charts since then, he has kept up his presence in the hip-hop community and made several appearances on TV and in movies.

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As I entered the Ritz just as the doors opened, I was immediately hit with nostalgia. The overhead speaker was playing some of the greatest 80’s & 90’s hip-hop and R&B hits. They ran non-stop for the hour between door and the shows. I was getting concerned that there may not be any left for Biz to play. I was wrong.

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But, before Biz hit the stage we were greeted with The Monterio Experience, a local cover band from Raleigh. Now, we’ve all seen cover bands many times and it’s hard to know what to expect but these guys were amazing. Vocalist, Eric Monterio, was so versatile and brought a little extra soul to every song he sang. They played everything from Michael Jackson and Backstreet Boys to Journey and Prince. During their performance of “Purple Rain” we took a trip back in time as people got out their lighters instead of their cell phone lights and lit up the venue. If you ever see this band playing nearby, I highly suggest checking them out. They were near flawless.

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After a short break, it was time for the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop”, Biz Markie, to take the stage. With the somewhat questionable validity of rap and hip-hop over the last couple years, Markie made sure that the nearly sold out crowd didn’t forget where it all started and the true pioneers of the genre.  

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Playing some of the most influential tracks from, NWA, Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash, and the list could go on and on. Biz’ played the hits non-stop, intertwined with his beat-boxing and his own songs.

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He is truly one of the funniest and most entertaining performers I’ve seen live. It’s nearly impossible not to have a good time with him in the room.

See full gallery of the night here!

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