As the Original Human Beatbox, Doug E. Fresh had a key role in hip-hop's formative years.
The first human beatbox in the rap world, and still the best of all time, Doug E. Fresh amazed audiences with his note-perfect imitations of drum machines, effects, and often large samples of hip-hop classics. Fresh was born Doug E. Davis in Barbados, and his first appearance came in 1983 on a single for Spotlight called “Pass the Budda,” with Spoonie Gee and DJ Spivey.
His introduction to most hip-hop fans, though, came one year later with his astonishing performance in Beat Street behind the Treacherous Three. His first solo features also came in 1984, with “Just Having Fun,” waxed for Enjoy, and “Original Human Beatbox” for Vinentertainment.
By 1985, Fresh was one of the biggest names in rap music, and his first single for Reality, “The Show/La Di Da Di,” became a hip-hop classic. It was recorded with his Get Fresh Crew, including MC Ricky D (only later to gain fame as Slick Rick), along with Barry Bee and Chill Will. His first LP, 1987's Oh, My God!, featured most of his showpieces, like “Play This Only at Night” and “All the Way to Heaven,” along with nods to reggae and even gospel.
His second album, 1988's The World's Greatest Entertainer, broke into the Billboard charts thanks to another hot single, “Keep Risin’ to the Top,” but Slick Rick had already broken from the pack and his LP of the same year, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, did much better than Doug E. Fresh.
Fresh took a break and wasn't able to regain momentum with 1992's Doin’ What I Gotta Do, released through MC Hammer's Bust It label. He did reunite on a Slick Rick LP, and recorded again in 1995 for Gee Street.
On May 23, 2007, Doug E. Fresh performed variations upon “The Show” with finalist Blake Lewis on the sixth-season finale of American Idol, the first ever hip-hop performance on the show.
In 2010, Doug E. Fresh resurfaced when rap group Cali Swag District brought back some of his trademark dance moves for their song “Teach Me How to Dougie.” Members of Cali Swag District saw Texas college students doing a local dance created in Dallas called the “D-Town Boogie”. They recognized it as a modified version of Doug E. Fresh's dance moves and created a song that would feature the dance, but also give Fresh his due credit.
On June 27, 2010, Doug E. Fresh performed with Cali Swag District on “Teach Me How to Dougie” at the BET Awards pre-show. He also performed a concert called “The Show” at the Paradise Theater on August 12, 2010. On November 8, 2010, Fresh appeared at the Soul Train Awards, where he taught CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer how to Dougie on stage as part of the show.
On December 10, 2010, Fresh appeared on ESPN First Take to speak about the phenomenon of the Dougie as a sports celebration and voted on the best sports-related Dougie dances, selecting that of host Skip Bayless, though he rated Wolf Blitzer's Dougie at the Soul Train Awards as better but with no sports association.
On October 28, 2011 Doug E. Fresh performed at the Paradise Theater in a concert to benefit New York City's public hospitals; the show was part of “STAT! for NYC's Public Hospitals” to raise funds to reduce gun violence. On July 9, 2012, Fresh served as a celebrity judge on the Apollo Live TV show. Beginning May 25, 2013, Fresh hosted a classic hip-hop and R&B show called “The Show” on New York's 107.5 WBLS, which aired 9:00-11:00 p.m. Saturday nights until the final broadcast on December 31, 2016.
Fresh served as a guest mentor to Jeff Dye and Joe Jonas, and performed with them, on the show I Can Do That on June 30, 2015.
Doug E. Fresh is a member of the Church of Scientology. He performed for a large audience at the Scientology Celebrity Center's Anniversary Gala in 2004. He also performed two tracks on the Scientology music album The Joy of Creating (other artists appearing included Isaac Hayes, Chick Corea, Edgar Winter and Carl Anderson).
Fresh is the spokesperson for the Hip Hop Public Health Education Center at Harlem Hospital Center.
In April 2007, a storefront for Doug E.'s Chicken and Waffles appeared at the corner of 132nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard in Harlem. Work continued on the location for over three years until the eatery finally opened its doors in November 2010. The location has since closed permanently, although the storefront remains in place. Doug E. Fresh has stated he has a club called Fresh.
Doug E. Fresh has six sons and manages Square Off, the hip-hop group of his sons Dayquan “Slim” Davis and Solomon “Trips” Davis. Square Off released their debut CD entitled Money, Moet & Memories in June 2011. The digital-only release was orchestrated completely by the brothers with little assistance from their father. “When he is involved in something, that's us coming to him… mainly everything we do is our concepts, our own direction,” Slim said to the New York Daily News.
April 18, 1959
- Іn 1987, Frеѕh’ѕ fіrѕt full-lеngth rесоrd Oh, My God!, іnсludеd nоtаblе trасkѕ ѕuсh аѕ “Аll thе Wау tо Неаvеn,” аnd “Рlау Тhіѕ Оnlу аt Nіght.” Тhеѕе trасkѕ gоt сrіtісаllу hаіlеd fоr іntеgrаtіng еlеmеntѕ оf gоѕреl, аnd rеggае muѕіс.
- Member of the pioneering hip-hop group, the Cold Crush Brothers.
- Fresh, is a Barbadian born American rapper, record producer, and beatboxer, also known as the Human Beat Box.
- The pioneer of 20th-century American beatboxing, Fresh is able to accurately imitate drum machines and various special effects using only his mouth, lips, gums, throat, tongue and a microphone.
BIO: AllMusic.com + Wikipedia.com
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