Weekend Warrior

Artist: Biz MarkieTitle: Weekend WarriorRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Toshitaka Kondo<font face="verdana" size="2"

Hip-Hop is still fun. Seriously. If you don’t believe me listen to Biz Markie’s new Tommy Boy release Weekend Warrior. It’s an hour of funky fresh music that’ll take you back to fat laces and air-brushed t-shirts. I guess that’s not too far back since they re-issue everything nowadays, but you get the point. Although his flow’s a bit outdated, the music is refreshing and makes for a surprisingly strong return for the old school legend.

The beats are mostly mid-tempo and upbeat, fitting Biz’s simple flow and random thought patterns (“When I watch cartoons, I watch Johnny Quest/I wake up in the morning and shower with Zest”). Although the sung hooks sound a little overused throughout the rather long album, it’s a minor drawback.

Even with his ADD tendencies, he has the ability to stay focused on themes. He reminisces about Dapper Dan and African medallions over a happy guitar loop on “Throwback.” While “Friends” humorously looks at relationships in the same vein of his classic “Just A Friend.” Stripping away a woman’s emotional baggage on “Games,” Biz urges her to “do the right thing like Spike Lee.”

His more spontaneous work is also humorous and incredibly random. Anytime you can rhyme about shrimp-fried rice and beef and broccoli as on “Chinese Food,” and not sound completely ridiculous, that’s good. Although he ignorantly imitates Asian dialect at the end, it can be overlooked as part of his goofy and harmless demeanor.

Even when paired with more current stars like P. Diddy and Elephant Man on “Do Your Thang” and “Let Me See U Bounce,” he sounds as diabolical as ever. That’s ‘cause Biz is completely himself at all times.

Like good wine, old school rappers just get better with age. Well, at least some of them do. You won’t find any ill battle rhymes or cinematic crime narratives on Weekend Warrior, just fun hip-hop that feels good. Hearing a dude that’s closer to 40 sounding this good will make you mad Jiggaman is even talking that retirement shit. But I guess that’s why nobody beats the Biz.