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Just A Friend

by

Biz Markie



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

In 1989, Rap songs could still be goofy and fun, and some rappers who weren't so concerned about establishing street cred were happy to record self-deprecating songs with a wide appeal. On this track, Biz Markie raps about a girl who he meets at a show. When he asks her if she has a man, she says she doesn't, and that she only has a friend. He enters into a relationship with her, where it would become apparent to most people that her man is much more than a friend, but poor, hapless Biz doesn't figure this out until he surprises her one day and finds her kissing her "friend."
Biz Markie sings on this song - very poorly. About 10 years later, it became a trend for rappers to sing on their records, as Ja Rule and Nelly had hits where they were singing poorly, but without irony.
This is based on Freddie Scott's 1968 R&B song "(You) Got What I Need," which was written by the Philadelphia songwriting/production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Biz used piano medley and the phrasing of the line "You got what I need," but changed the subject matter completely.

Despite the obvious influence, Biz Markie (real name: Marcel Hall) is the only songwriter credited on this track. This was common practice at the time, as most samples and interpolations were not cleared.

On his next album, Markie did a similar interpretation of "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan for the track "Alone Again." At the time, rappers could sample without consequence, as there was no legal precedent. This changed when O'Sullivan sued Biz Markie in 1991, resulting in a landmark decision that unauthorized samples were considered theft. Markie was forced to pull the album and re-issue it without "Alone Again." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
This song entered the Hot Digital Songs chart for the first time in 2009 thanks to its inclusion in a Heineken TV commercial, "Let a Stranger Drive You Home."
Biz Markie
More Biz Markie songs
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Comments (5):

This is AWESOME!!! Absolutely love this song! Me and a friend LOVE singing this song so much:)
- Megan, Stevenson, AL
Also featured in the show "It's Always Sunny in Phillidelphia" in the episode titled 'Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare'.
- Kate, Norfolk, VA
this was on Beavis and Butthead,they were havin fun with this song.
- Jennifer Harris, Grand Blanc, MI
This song is a classic. It reminds me of the days when rap music was decent.
- Bryan, Spring, TX
Awesome vocal talent.
- River, Istanbul
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