ALL UP IN THE BIZ is a documentary film that tells the definitive story of late, great rapper Biz Markie, who is best known for his mega hit “Just a Friend.” Directed by Sacha Jenkins, the film premiered 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 the 2023 Tribeca Festival, features never before seen footage, musical interludes, animation, puppetry, and interviews with Biz Markie and other prominent figures in hip hop. 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. In its review titled, “A Documentary That’s Got What You Need,” the New York Times calls it a “cogent, affectionate, and largely apt tribute to Markie.”
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.
The film is directed, co-written and executive produced by Jenkins. ALL UP IN THE BIZ marks the second collaboration with Five All in the Fifth, following “Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James,” also for Showtime. It’s also Jenkins’ fifth project for Showtime, having previously directed “Bitchin’,” “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men,” “Burn Motherf*cker, Burn!,” and “Word is Bond.” Last year he directed the feature Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues.
The film was also produced by Andre Wilkins and Djali Brown-Cepeda. Executive producers are Five All in the Fifth’s Douglas Banker, Tara Hall, Vinnie Malhotra, Kerry Gordy, Ashley Garrett, and Peter Bittenbender for Mass Appeal.
Watch the trailer below!