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Biz Markie gets his flowers in All Up In The Biz

After paying tasteful respect to Wu-Tang Clan, Louis Armstrong, and Rick James, Sacha Jenkins's latest Jammie focuses on the Clown Prince of Hip Hop Biz Markie in All Up In The Biz. Sixteen years ago, rumors of a biopic centered on the Juice Crew started swirling. The film would carry the title Vapors, and the rumored cast included Keke Palmer as Roxanne Shante, Idris Elba as Big Daddy Kane, and David Banner as Biz Markie.

While that film would never come to fruition, Roxanne Shante eventually got her biopic in 2017, featuring Nigel A. Fullerton as Biz. Five years later, we have an in-depth documentary on Biz that hopes to serve as his definitive story. Opening with a reenactment of his time in the hospital, Jenkins makes the tasteful choice to focus on Biz's wife, Tara Hall, and use a puppet for the late rapper. Going this route creates a humanization factor for Biz and subtly allows us to be in the room as she shares Biz's story.

Hip Hop heads already know that Biz was a beatbox wiz known for his comical rhymes and generally whimsical ways. A native of Long Island, Biz's gift swiftly propelled him through Hip Hop history. The documentary beautifully depicts how he motivated rap legends such as Rakim and Big Daddy Kane and delves into the significant sampling lawsuit in which he was involved.

All Up In The Biz showcases exclusive footage, animations, puppet reenactments, and interviews with influential figures in Hip Hop, such as Biz Markie, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, Fat Joe, Nick Cannon, and Tracy Morgan. The sign of a good documentary for me is always learning things I didn't know about a particular subject, and there's information of wealth about Biz shared.

For me, some of the most surprising things about the doc were learning about his friendship with wordsmith Masta Ace, his love for collecting toys, and his success with the ladies. Mainstream audiences who thought he was just a one-hit wonder will likely be surprised to learn that Biz had five studio albums.

Two years after his passing, Biz Markie still personifies Hip Hop. Biz could rhyme, beatbox, DJ, and was an all-around vivacious brother. All Up In The Biz is a touching documentary that showcases how the dreams of an underdog, fueled by unwavering determination and a great sense of humor, will remain a part of the hip-hop world forever.

Final Grade: A

All Up In The Biz streams on Showtime tommorow.


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