Kickin' It Old-School

DJ Jazzy Jeff and Biz Markie splash down at the Shelborne Hotel's Sunday pool party.

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!

Jazzy Jeff will rock it poolside Sunday.
Jazzy Jeff will rock it poolside Sunday.


DJ Jazzy Jeff and Biz Markie perform at The Nothing But an Old-School Pool Party on Sunday, March 30, at the Shelborne Hotel Pool, 1801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. Others on the bill include Common, DJ Spinna, King Britt, DJ Irie, Mark Farina, Todd Terry, Mick Boogie, DJ3D. The party goes from noon to 10 p.m., and tickets cost $50. Call 305-341-1455, or visit

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.

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