One Rap Legend Celebrates Another

Biz Markie turns 45 today, and to celebrate, he's enlisted Slick Rick to perform at his birthday party at Love Friday night.

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.

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