By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Biz: For Marvel, the money wasn't right and it never panned out. I have a TV show on Nickelodeon called Yo Gabba Gabba!, teaching the little kids how to beatbox. It's crazy fun. I also did Wild 'N Out for like a year with Nick Cannon; that's my family.
What about you, Jeff, any return to the television screen?
Jeff: I never say never. The reason why I didn't jump into it is because I didn't satisfy my music thing. Every time Will does something, he used to tell me to come to the set, but I would never go because I knew he was going to try to get me to jump in. But every time I watch the movies, I'm like, Damn, I could have played that part!
Both of you are on the road DJing heavily these days. Are you recording at all away from the home studio?
Jeff: When I travel around the world and DJ, I take my portable setup around with me. I pretty much record in every city I'm in, just to see [where] the vibe of where I'm at puts me.... It's cool, because a lot of times I'm so far away from the production side, so this way it allows me to take it with me. I've got a MOTU traveler interface, keyboard, my laptop, and Logic Pro.
What projects are you two working on?
Biz: DJing a lot, doing this Juice Crew movie called Vapors. It's about how me and Marley Marl brought everyone together — will be coming out soon. We're reuniting in Atlanta, doing spot dates, and then a full tour promoting the movie....
I'm [also] thinking about doing a new album, mixing the old stuff with new stuff. I've got some old stuff I've never put out.
Jeff: After the last album [Return of the Magnificent], I've been pretty much around the world — the entire UK, Europe, Asia, Australia. This year I'm trying to focus on being in the U.S. a bit more, from Miami to Vegas, and just playing to people where I'm from. Me and Rhymefest are working on a Jeff and Fess album. A lot of times I don't like to say I'm working on a project as much as I just like to work. If a project turns into it out of work, then I'm good; I don't like to put constraints on myself. I would love to make six albums this year with six different people.
What can someone who has never heard you DJ live expect?
Jeff: I play everything. I came up in the era when DJs weren't categorized. A DJ played funk, soul, hip-hop, rock, whatever made the people move. I'll go from Mobb Deep to Justin Timberlake, some breakbeats — I'll cover the whole gamut — look for some really dope rock stuff, crazy electro. Anything you can fuse together to keep the people moving, I'm all for.
Biz: I'm not close-minded; the way I do a party, I play everything. Certain parties take certain things. It's like I'm Mikey from Life cereal.
Any memories of past visits to Miami?
Jeff: I had a residency at Shine before it closed down for a second. The owner of Shine is a good friend of mine, so that was really cool.
Biz: I always bumped into Luke Skyywalker; we were cool from '84 on. He used to DJ at a rollerskating rink. We would go looking for records, and he was just a good friend. I'm still cool with him.
Click the play button above to listen to Bernard Hacker's interview with Biz Markie.