“ Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap - East Coast / Artist: Biz Markie / Import / Audio CD released 1995-09-26 at Cold Chillin „
Although it seemed that the buzz of Cold Chillin' Records and the Juice Crew had dramatically dropped as time advanced past 1990, Biz Markie was sure to keep things rolling. Not tripping up as Big Daddy Kane, M.C. Shan and others had, the Biz was sure to keep things popping with his 1991 release "I Need A Haircut", from which he generated a mild amount of attention by grazing the Billboard Charts, but almost shutting down the Hip Hop industry by a decision to use one particular sample.
Known as a beatboxer and rapper, who came up in the game after supporting Roxanne Shanté and others as the vocal percussionist and block party rocker, Biz Markie's third album has him attempting to play on from what he'd done previously with material which contrasts greatly from what the rest of the very innovative Juice Crew had created in the past and has him playing 'class clown' with a comedy style.
I, personally, felt that by this album, much of the humour in the raps that he comes out with are a bit stale, but would still appeal to a fair amount of people. It's important to note that by this point in time the Pop Rap scene was in full force with DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice all having a lot to offer the game and so it gave Biz more of a place than before (when he seemed to be alone at a time when Hip Hop suddenly became much more serious).
The sample-heavy Hip Hop world was effected massively by this album, and it had nothing to do with Biz's influence. Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again" is sampled on a track of the same name here and it led to the landmark 'Grand Upright Music, Inc. vs Warner Bros. Records, Inc' copywriting case, one which would cause there be a reinforcement of old laws in recording and how clearing samples would operate. I felt as though the track was strong, but not enough of a cause to force the industry to completely do over its sound in order to stay on the right side of all of this.
I felt that the content of the album was generally very strong and certainly a release which fans of his music should own. I felt as though there was only really one slight slip-up in "Kung Fu", where things seem to lack direction, as apart from this it's all solid. It would appear as though the rapper cuts corners to a degree in the way that he goes about recordings things here, but I can't say that I really felt all that bothered by it really. Here there's another example of him using the "Impeach The President" break in spite of him using it several times before, but I felt that things such as this just added to the real Biz-like feel of the record.
The way that he goes about rhyming on the most part takes on a very rigid and plain structure. Although this may be the case, I'm not really complaining as I enjoyed the way that he took things. He tends to introduce an idea or a story and then run with it consistently for the whole of each individual cut here and I thought that he managed to pull it off well. It may annoy those who were into much more fast-paced, new and original Rap from this time period, but Biz seems to be one of few would can get away with it. He also reminds us of his early days as a playground-rhyming MC with the throwback approach to doing his lines as he takes things to the mid eighties pretty much all the way through and mixes this in with the odd beatbox to give people a taste of his skills in that field too.
I'd recommend this release to anyone into Hip Hop around this sort of time period. What you get from this album is all light-hearted stuff and acts as a refreshing change to what was prevalent at the time as Gangsta Rap took over this musical genre and changed the face of it completely (thus marginalising material such as this). Biz's "TSR: Toilet Stool Rap" is welcome to brighten-up Hip Hop along with all the other funny little tales that he brings this time around. I thought that it had a lot to offer in what it was. All the tracks brings something new with it as he seems to extend what ground he made with "The Biz Never Sleeps" (his second album).
1. "To My Boys" (Intro)
2. "Road Blocks" **Five Stars**
3. "Let Go My Eggo" **Five Stars**
4. "What Comes Around Goes Around" **Five Stars**
5. "Romeo and Juliet" **Five Stars**
6. "T.S.R." **Five Stars**
7. "Busy Doing Nuthin'" **Five Stars**
8. "I Told You" **Five Stars**
9. "Buck Wild" **Five Stars**
10. "Kung Fu" **Four Stars**
11. "Take It From The Top" **Five Stars**
12. "Alone Again" **Five Stars**
13. "On and On" **Five Stars**
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 To My Boys
2 Road Block
3 Let Go My Eggo
4 What Comes Around Goes Around
5 Romeo and Juliet
6 T.S.R. (Toilet Stool Rap)
7 Busy Doing Nuthin'
8 I Told You
9 Buck Wild
10 Kung Fu
11 Take It from the Top
12 On and On