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Interview:
Biz Markie does Yo Gabba Gabba for the kids
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Biz Markie has been part of Nick Jr.'s "Yo Gabba Gabba" since pilots in 2006, bringing the show's youthful viewers his "Beat of the Day."

He's been doing it for the show's various live tours, too, and the New Jersey-born rapper says he loves it as much now as he ever has.

"I knew it was gonna click," says Markie, 48 (real name Marcel Hall), who's best known for his 1989 hit "Just a Friend." "I knew it was gonna be a good show. I didn't know it was going to last thins long, but it's way different than any other kids show I ever saw. It has that old school feel with a new school spin."

As for the "Beat of the Day," Markie says that "I came up with that because I was too lazy to dance." But these days he's anything but lazy."

In addition to "Yo Gabba Gabba" he continues to be an active club DJ and also has a cooking show at LivingSocial.com that he hopes to take to TV soon. And he's working on a new children's TV show that he expects to debut this fall. "There's a lot of interaction with the kids and me," he says. "It's like all the old school games we used to do in the hood. It's gonna be crazy.

Add to that an album, his first in nine years, that Markie says is "halfway done" and will mix original rap tracks with covers of songs by Elton John, Joe Cocker and the Steve Miller Band.

"I'm doing it now, doing the ground work, doing it slowly," says Markie, whose "Weekend Warrior" came out in 2003. "It's going to be timeless. I've got a couple people (guesting) but they told me not to say their names. It's gonna be lots of fun."

Biz Markie appears in "Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! Get the Sillies Out!" at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $25-$45. Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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