SHOWTIME announced today that ALL UP IN THE BIZ, directed by Sacha Jenkins (WU-TANG CLAN: OF MICS AND MEN, Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues) will premiere Friday, August 11, streaming on Paramount+ with SHOWTIME before making its on-air debut that same day at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The documentary feature, which premiered at Tribeca Festival(R) last month, is the definitive story of late, great rapper Biz Markie, who is best known for his mega hit “Just a Friend.” Featuring never before seen footage, musical interludes, animation, puppetry, and interviews with Biz Markie and other prominent figures in hip hop – from Fat Joe to Nick Cannon to Tracy Morgan – ALL UP IN THE BIZ is a heartwarming portrait of how one underdog’s dreams – fortified by an unwavering determination and a wicked sense of humor – would come true inside the world of hip hop and far beyond. The film traces how Markie created a lane for himself in hip hop while also helping his friends, many of whom (Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, E.P.M.D.) would become legends in their own right.
Crowned “The Clown Prince of Hip Hop,” Markie was a beatbox wiz who was known for his comical rhymes and generally whimsical ways. A native of Long Island, Markie’s gift swiftly propelled him through hip hop history; he would inspire rap icons like Rakim and Big Daddy Kane in the process. The ride had a few bumps (like the groundbreaking sampling lawsuit he was wrapped up in) but in the end, Biz Markie was recognized as the actual personification of hip hop. ALL UP IN THE BIZ chronicles Markie’s extraordinary tale, from humble beginnings, often living with a foster family after the death of his mother, to pop culture ubiquity, and ultimately speaks to how an individual can chart their own destiny and shape the future of a culture.
“Biz Markie is the pure essence of hip hop. He believed in, he lived it, he harnessed its powers,” said Jenkins. “Most people don’t know that he used those powers to power up some of the culture’s greatest poets and then some. I was fortunate to meet with Biz when he was alive so to have the opportunity to bring him back to life now that he isn’t here…it’s a special film.”
Jenkins is a New York-based writer, filmmaker and musician who came of age during hip hop’s golden era. ALL UP IN THE BIZ marks the fifth project from Jenkins for SHOWTIME, having previously directed WU-TANG CLAN: OF MICS AND MEN, BITCHIN’: THE SOUND AND FURY OF RICK JAMES, BURN MOTHERF*CKER, BURN!, and WORD IS BOND. Last year he directed the feature Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues.
ALL UP IN THE BIZ is directed, co-written and executive produced by Jenkins. The film was also produced by Andre Wilkins and Djali Brown-Cepeda. Executive producers are Tara Hall, Vinnie Malhotra, Doug Banker, Kerry Gordy, Ashley Garrett, and Peter Bittenbender for Mass Appeal.