Billboard -- Biz Markie 's busy 2013 will hopefully include a new album -- the "Just a Friend" rapper and "Yo Gabba Gabba" star's first in nine years.
Markie tells Billboard that he's finished "half the album," which he says will mix "singing covers like I used to do with the Beastie Boys and real rap records." The covers include songs by the Steve Miller Band, Elton John and Joe Cocker, but Markie isn't revealing titles yet, nor details about any artists who might guest on the album.
"I'm doing it now, doing the ground work, doing it slowly," says Markie, whose last album, "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."
Markie, who's a regular on the road with "Yo Gabba Gabba" live show, says he'll tour on his own to support the album "but I've got to get it done first, then we'll figure it out."
Markie says he hopes to return to MTV2's "Hip Hop Squares" in the future; he appeared on the show's first season but hasn't been able to make any second-season shows because of his schedule. He's also working on a new children's TV show for network TV, which he hopes will 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."
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Find more online: Billboard.com