For Biz Markie's Birthday: YouTube Covers of "Just a Friend"
When it comes to one-hit wonders, Biz Markie certainly ranks up there. His horribly off-key, ubiquitous, feel good song "Just a Friend" propelled the hip hop artist into the pop culture stratosphere and helped us all to understand that singing, literally, isn't everything. Needless to say, it was a bad song that made a lot of people feel good and, as the Beatles put it, that can't be bad.
The use of "Just a Friend" in a Heineken commercial (see above) advocating taking a cab home after a night of drinking helped breathe new life into Markie's career. The cab scene was probably as familiar to the hipster set as the Wayne's World "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene was to many of us who are, shall we say, slightly older.
The hit has spawned its share of covers on the web and one slicked-up, well sung version by R&B crooner Mario that inspired covers of its own - Inception anyone? In honor of Markie's 47th birthday, we offer up some evidence that Markie isn't the only one who can't sing in these renditions of "Just a Friend."
We start with Eminem pumping up the crowd with this live spot.
Rocks Off is a big fan of J.T. The guy is talented and more than a little funny. The ringer t-shirt makes this whole video.
Imagine your high school band instructor playing the song in his bedroom. Shudder.
Toy drums with pencils for drumsticks.
New York hip hop artist Louis Logic at the Knitting Factory
We're pretty sure this guy is pretending to be an awful singer, but we're also fairly certain that isn't necessary.
Michigan rockers Tally Hall turn in a surprisingly credible effort.
Indie musicians Adam Green and Lissy Trullie and their suitably understated and mildly sad version. Anyone else hear the Rolling Stones overtones? Were Mick and Keith ever this dour?
If you want to really annoy your neighbors, crank up this Chipmunk-itized offering and open all your windows. You'll make enemies for life.
Finally, leave it to Jimmy Fallon to make the most of "Just a Friend," with Jeff Goldblum and Biz himself.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.