Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend” was one of his most notable hits, but aside from the popularity and critical acclaim, the record brought in no money for the late rapper. Recently, Biz’s DJ sat down with HipHopDX for an exclusive interview in which he discussed the initial doubts surrounding the track, the process of recording it and the public’s response to that particular song.
“I got [Biz] in the booth and he was singing, and even though it might not be perfectly correct to anybody else, the feeling of it was good,” DJ Cool V said while reflecting on the makings of the 1989 song.
“He had his fist balled up, and he was really trying. He was really, really crooning and I said, ‘That’s it.’ And he had one take. Then he had another take that was not as good as the first one. Right?”
According to V, everyone thought they were “crazy” for moving forward with Biz’s imperfect vocals, but he believed that it would be the perfect recipe to success.
“Everybody called us crazy,” he continued. “Like, ‘Yo, you going to really let him do that?’ I said, ‘Man, he feeling it. I got a good feeling about this record.’ And we did it. It just took off. It morphed into something that we could never imagine.”
“Just A Friend” eventually peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, gaining widespread popularity. However, Cool V revealed he and Biz’s only earnings from the song came from touring, not actual music sales.
“The sweetness comes in that we were able to perform it for almost 31 years,” the DJ explained. “And now comes the other side of it — we never made money off the record. I still haven’t got paid for that record...We made the money off the shows, and we had a great performing career.” Unfortunately, the shows will come to an end following Biz’s sudden passing.
As REVOLT previously reported, the legendary hip hop star passed away last month at the age of 57. In the wake of his death, the song doubles as a reminder of Cool V’s friendship with Biz Markie and the fact that they were never compensated for the track.
“It gets back to the bittersweet because every time I hear it, it’s going to remind me of Biz,” his DJ said. “But it’s also going to remind me of how I can’t make more money off of it. Everybody’s feeding their family off our work, and we’ve never made money off that record.”