Biz Markie broke into the rap game more than two decades ago as one of the best human beat boxes in New York, but it wasn't his beat-boxing that earned him Top 10 fame. That came from the tuneless singing on the novelty hit "Just a Friend" in '89. Really, it's a stupid song but a hard-to-forget melody. And that's what he was known for: crude, obvious but silly lyrics. If he was known for his better material, like the Big Daddy Kane-penned "Vapors," he might have avoided being pigeon-holed as a novelty act.
Marquee birthday or not, head to the club to see Slick Rick perform. He's one of the top talents of late-'80s rap, and one of the original pimpsters. His 1988 debut -- "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick" -- is a hip-hop classic and established him as one of the genre's best storytellers. Unfortunately, it's more influential for its envelope-pushing, X-rated misogyny than Rick's narrative style and unique vocals.
Sadly, legal trouble -- attempted murder and immigration issues (Rick was born in London before relocating during his youth) -- prevented him from being very prolific in the '90s.
Send an e-mail to this link to get a free pass to the party. Starts at 10 p.m.