The 25 Best Brooklyn Anthems

11. Biz Markie "Albee Square Mall" (1988)


Label: Warner Brothers

Wanna know how long someone's lived in Brooklyn? Ask them if they know where the Albee Square Mall is, or was, as immortalized in Biz Markie's 1988 song of the same name, in which he spends two entire verses extolling the greatness of the long-gone downtown Brooklyn mall without actually mentioning any of them (Wendy's, places to buy shoes, Gibb's Pups) until the third verse. Biz's rhymes recall a time before gentrification, when Downtown Brooklyn wasn't a rape-and-pillage situation for condo developers catering to Manhattanites in self-imposed exile so much as a place where you could buy some new kicks and, if you were lucky, not get jumped for them before you left. And of course, the Albee Square Mall was dead the moment developers tried to rebrand it as The Gallery at Fulton Street (um, no), which only lasted so long before they finally just threw their hands up and admitted they were scrapping it in favor of another massive yuppified development in 2007. Thankfully, it's still preserved by way of hip-hop; sure, by making cameos in a few videos (like 3rd Bass's "Brooklyn-Queens" and Funk Flex f/ Buckshot's "No Joke/Follow Me"), but mostly, by way of Biz, his song, and its ridiculous chorus as screeched out by T.J. Swan. —Foster Kamer

Tags: biz_markie
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