Just a Friend

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"Just a Friend"
Just a Friend single.jpg
Single by Biz Markie
from the album The Biz Never Sleeps
ReleasedSeptember 26, 1989 (1989-09-26)[1]
GenreComedy hip hop, pop rap
LabelCold Chillin'
Songwriter(s)Marcel Hall[2][3]
Producer(s)Marcel Hall[3]
Biz Markie singles chronology
"Free Your Mind"
"Just a Friend"
Music video
"Just a Friend" on YouTube

"Just a Friend" is a song written,[2][3] produced[3] and performed by American hip hop artist Biz Markie. It was released in September 1989 as the lead single from his album, The Biz Never Sleeps. It is Markie's most successful single, reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990.[4]

The song interpolates the 1968 song "You Got What I Need" recorded by Freddie Scott, whose basic chord and melody provided the base for the song's chorus and made it famous. Due to the widespread popularity of the song along with its acclaim and its influence on pop culture (and Markie's failure to have another charting Hot 100 song), Biz was classified by VH1 as a one-hit wonder, and "Just a Friend" was ranked 81st on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders in 2000, and later as number 100 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop in 2008.[5] Karma, a staff record producer for Cold Chillin' Records, told Vibe magazine in 2005 that he produced the single, but never received credit.[6]

The single was certified platinum on April 12, 1990.[7]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Lionel C. Martin, chronicles the rapper/singer's woman problems.[8][9] At the climax of the video, Biz Markie's character stumbles upon a girl he was trying to date – not his girlfriend – kissing another man she had previously referred to as "just a friend".[10] It also includes a scene of Biz Markie singing the chorus dressed as Mozart in 18th-century clothing with a powdered wig in a candlelit room while playing the piano.

Chart positions[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Charts (1989–1990) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[11] 66
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 9
U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks (Billboard)[4] 37
U.S. Hot Rap Singles (Billboard)[4] 5

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1990)[12] Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 94

In popular culture[edit]

  • Appears in the television show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the 2nd season episode entitled, "Dennis and Dee Go on Welfare" and 11th season episode "Frank Falls Out the Window".[13]
  • Appears as one of the featured music videos in the television show Beavis and Butt-Head, in the 2nd season episode entitled, "Home Improvement".[14] When Markie does his Mozart impersonation, Butt-head cheerfully notes "He's dressed like that dude on the dollar (George Washington)".
  • Appeared on the radio station The Mix 107.77 in the video game Saints Row IV and in one sequence was sung by the game's villain, Zinyak. It is later played at the end credits, sung by the cast of the game. It soon fades out, leaving only Michael Clarke Duncan, the original voice of Ben King, to sing the remainder of it. Michael died before his recording of Ben could be completed and his final song was Volition's own tribute to him.
  • Appears in a Heineken "Let a Stranger Drive You Home" commercial from 2009 with people after a night out singing along to the song in the back of a cab.
  • Appeared in the US talk show The Late Late Show with James Corden in the segment "Soundtrack to a Rom Com", performed with guest Anne Hathaway.
  • Appeared in the FOX series Empire Season three episode 2, in a live performance after Lucious Lyon got Biz Markie to perform the song with a band in Cookie Lyon's bedroom. It also appeared to be the first song Cookie heard Lucious sing in the series when they first met.
  • Appeared in the ABC show "Black-ish" season three, episode 21, in a live performance.
  • Appeared in the film "I Think I Love My Wife", where it was sung by Chris Rock and Kerry Washington.[15]
  • Mentioned in the Akinyele song "I Luh Her" from the album Vagina Diner. [16]


  1. ^ "Amazon.com: Biz Markie: Just a Friend [Vinyl]: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Just a Friend – Biz Markie | Listen, Appearances, Song Review | AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Biz Markie – Just A Friend (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs. Zink Media. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Biz Markie | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  5. ^ http://stereogum.com/archives/vh1s-100-greatest-hiphop-songs_024391.html
  6. ^ Kondo, Toshitaka (May 2005). "Karma". Vibe. p. 56.
  7. ^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum Searchable Database – March 24, 2015". RIAA. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  8. ^ http://www.videostatic.com/vs/2006/week19/index.html#entry-10259599
  9. ^ http://www.mvdbase.com/video.php?id=3237
  10. ^ http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/biz+markie/just+a+friend_20018799.html
  11. ^ Canadian dance peak
  12. ^ Pedro. "Longbored Surfer – 2000". LongboredSurfer.com. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  13. ^ "IMDb - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia". IMDb.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  14. ^ "IMDb - Beavis and Butt-Head". IMDb.com. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Imdb - I Think I Love My Wife". imdb.com. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Genius - Akinyele - I Luh Her". genius.com. Retrieved 11 December 2018.

External links[edit]