Doug E Fresh
Real Name: Douglas E. Davis
D.O.B.: 17th September, 1966 Barbados.
Unquestionably one of the dopest beat-boxers of all time, Doug E. Fresh came through with an extraordinary rhythmic palette. The unique beats and sounds made with his mouth, quite often distinguishable by the nimble mode from the more booming and raspy tones of the Human Beat Box(R.I.P.) of Fat Boys. With MC Ricky D or Slick Rick and the Get Fresh Crew, Fresh put his natural vocal talents on national stage for a complete ensemble, almost devoid of any electronic aid apart from a microphone. Doug E Fresh certainly was a mechanical sound sample.
Born in Barbados, Fresh moved to New York and not long into his amateur opening, in 1983 he recorded his début on the 12" single "Pass the Budda" with Treacherous Three's, Spoonie Gee on the Spotlight label. Spoonie was the nephew of legendary Harlem record-store and label owner Bobby Robinson, who had issued hits like Bobby Marchan's, "Something on My Mind," a 1960 R&B number one protorap classic. He also released "Just Having Fun" by Fresh with DJ's Chill Will and Barry Bee on his Enjoy label in 1984, a hard-rocking electro jam that showcased Fresh's stunning beat-box talent.
Fresh's 1985 single with MC Ricky D, "The Show/La Di Da Di," on the Reality label, certified Fresh as one of hip-hop's biggest draws, launching the career of Slick Rick (then known as MC Ricky D). "The Show" was exactly what its title suggested, both a showcase for Fresh's Get Fresh Crew and a narrative tale leading up to Fresh rocking a live show; most hip-hop fans at the time memorized it verbatim. In fact, Fresh's vitality was due to his ability to rock a crowd (a skill that has unfortunately lost currency as hip-hop has aged), and his début album, Oh, My God!, translated his stage-tested routines superbly to the studio. Although Fresh's popularity had faded by the '90s, he received a memorable name-check on A Tribe Called Quest's track "What?" when Q-Tip wondered, "What is hip-hop if it doesn't have violence? Chill for a minute, Doug E. Fresh said silence." His 1995 comeback album, Play was a reinvigorating recreation of true-school styles.
Today Fresh maintains a profile on the scene, hosting true-school hip-hop events in New York City's Central Park. In 2002, Fresh authored Think Again, the first book in Scholastic's Rap & Read series of children's books, which came with a CD single of Fresh rapping the story over a Prince Paul beat.
- 1986 Oh, My God! (with the Get Fresh Crew)
- 1988 The World's Greatest Entertainer (with the Get Fresh Crew)
- 1992 Doin' What I Gotta Do (with the New Get Fresh Crew)
- 1995 Play