Friday, April 5, 2019

The Fat Boys

The Fat Boys are an American hip hop trio from Brooklyn, New York City, that emerged in the early 1980s. The group was briefly known originally as the Disco 3, originally composed of Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales, Damon "Kool Rock-Ski" Wimbley and Darren "Buff Love" Robinson, who died of a heart attack during a bout with respiratory flu in 1995.

The trio is widely known for using beatbox in their songs. The group opened doors for beatboxers like Biz Markie and Doug E. Fresh. The Fat Boys was one of the first rap groups to release full-length rap albums, along with Run-D.M.C., Whodini and Kurtis Blow. Beloved for their comedic, self-deprecating rhymes, the group released 7 studio albums, 4 of which went Gold by RIAA.

The first two albums of the group were produced by the legendary Kurtis Blow, and they were successful due to the singles "Jail House Rap", "Can You Feel It?", "Fat Boys", "Stick 'Em", "Don't You Dog Me", "All You Can Eat", "The Fat Boys Are Back", "Pump It Up", and videos to them.

The album Crushin' received a Platinum status due to their loud single "Wipeout", which was recorded together with the American rock group The Beach Boys. The next album, Coming Back Hard Again, repeated the formula of the previous one and received a Gold status due to the successful single "The Twist (Yo, Twist)", recorded together with American rock 'n roll singer Chubby Checker. The album also included the theme song for the movie A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, which featured Robert Englund performing as Freddy Krueger.

The group also starred in three feature films in the 1980s, thereby strengthening the popularity of hip-hop in America: Krush Groove, Knights of the City and Disorderlies.

In 1983, a Swiss-born promoter named Charles Stettler, the owner of his own label Tin Pan Apple, decided to make a hip-hop talent contest. To find a sponsor, the promoter went to WBLS radio station, which recommended him to a couple of sponsors. In the end, he persuaded the company Coca-Cola to finance a contest worth 300 thousand dollars. For the next three months, contests were held to identify the winner in each boroughs of New York City every Saturday afternoon.

On May 23, 1983, was held the final of the contest entitled "Coca-Cola and WBLS present: The Tin Pan Apple After Dark Dance & Rap Contest!". It was decided to organize an event at Radio City Music Hall, and this was the first event in the history of the concert hall, which was attended by black artists. The host that evening was Mr. Magic from the famous radio program Rap Attack at the time. According to the terms of the competition, the winner signed a contract to a record deal. The Fat Boys members, then calling themselves The Disco 3, were unexpected winners. They won the contest with the song "Stick' Em"

In 1983, the group released their debut single "Reality" under the name The Disco 3. The single was produced by jazz guitarist and keyboardist of Roy Ayers' jazz-funk band, James Mason.

Since the group did not have a manager, Charles Stettler took over this position. Stettler took the group to the European Bus Tour, where he told them to gain more weight. The concerts ended at 12 o'clock in the evening, and they could not get to the hotel until two o'clock in the morning, and only places like McDonald's and Burger King were open. So they gained weight. But since so much was happening, the group members did not even notice it on the tour and did not consider themselves fat. And once their manager offered them to call themselves The Fat Boys. On the occasion of the renaming of the group, was held a party at the Roseland Ballroom in New York.

Charlie Stettler introduced the group to producer Kurtis Blow, who gave them his signature sound.[7] To work on the album, Kurtis Blow recruited drum machine programmers of Run-D.M.C., Larry Smith and Davy "DMX" Reeves, both were of the best in making songs at the time. "Stick' Em" was the first song they recorded with Kurtis Blow.

The group's 1984 self-titled debut album, Fat Boys, is considered by many to be the first hip-hop album to feature such an element as beatbox. Darren "The Human Beat Box" Robinson was a pioneer in beatboxing, he used his mouth to create hip-hop percussion sounds. He and another rapper, Doug E. Fresh, popularized beatboxing, inspiring other artists to innovate, including Biz Markie.

One day in 1984, Russell Simmons storming into Stettler's office and told him that he was going to make a Fresh Fest Tour '84 festival, in which his groups and break dancers would take part. And since Stettler raised 300 thousand dollars from Coca-Cola to finance his 1983 contest, Simmons wanted Stettler to do it again. But the young promoter could not return to the beverage company, so he called his only Swiss friend and asked him if there was anything the Swiss were trying to sell. Wrist watch Swatch turned out to be such a product. Stettler persuaded the company to finance a tour of 360 thousand dollars, while the festival had to be renamed The Swatch Watch New York City Fresh Fest.

Russell Simmons didn't want to take The Fat Boys on the tour, because nobody heard of them at that point. Then Stettler went to an old Tower Records store on Broadway and handed out 5 thousand flyers that read: "Guess the weight of The Fat Boys and the person who wins hits 800 cans of diet Pepsi and one dollar". Therefore, thousands of children lined up at the Tower Records store. Stettler put the group members on the scale, at that time they weighed 868 pounds (394 kg). In the end, a boy from Harlem won. Channel 2 for its news filmed this event on camera, including how pepsi-cola was delivered to Harlem. Then Stettler called Russell Simmons to show him such a group ad. In response, Simmons said that this is just a local advertising.

The next day, Stettler saw in the newspaper that The Jackson 5 was going to be reunited at a concert in October 1984. So he called his wife and part-time partner and asked her to write a press release saying that The Jackson 5 have picked an unknown group The Fat Boys as their opening act. As a result, Stettler himself distributed this press release across the city. The next morning, Stettler, together with the group The Fat Boys, got on the TV show Good Morning America, and when the host turns around to The Fat Boys and they don't know what to say, they just go: "Brrr, Stick' Em! Ha-ha-ha, Stick 'Em!", because it was the group's popular song at the time.

So Russell Simmons agreed to add The Fat Boys to the lineup, which included Run-D.M.C., Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Newcleus and The Dynamic Breakers. The first concert of the tour took place on Labor Day, September 3, 1984. For 27 concerts in the United States, the organizers managed to raise 3.5 million dollars. The festival was accompanied by advertising on television.

In 1985, it was followed by Fresh Fest II, which included the same acts, with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five replacing Newcleus

The American office of the company Swatch starting to do some offbeat, interesting campaigns, and agreed to star the Fat Boys in one commercial of watches on MTV, where the group members jumped out of helicopters, despite the fact that time MTV did not put hip-hop on the air. Fat Boys did not receive any payment for the time in advertising, but received a lot of free time on MTV, which helped the group to become popular among young people. The video "Brrr, Swatch ’Em!" was aired in December 1984.

Swatch has returned to The Fat Boys for a 1985 Christmas advertisement created by former MTV creative heads Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert. "Swatch Watch Presents A Merry Christmas" was broadcast in December 1985.

Based on their good sense of humor, the trio starred in 1985 feature film Krush Groove and in feature film Disorderlies (1987), which featured Ralph Bellamy as a millionaire invalid who receives bumbling care by his good-natured orderlies (played by the Fat Boys), with a cameo by manager Stettler.

Attempting to capitalize on the appearance-oriented name of the Fat Boys, another hip hop group dubbed itself the Skinny Boys, and yet another the Fat Girls. The popularity of those groups was mild in comparison, however.

Hoping to repeat the success of Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith with the single "Walk This Way" The Fat Boys made a cover version of the song "Wipeout" together with rock group The Beach Boys. The single peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song "Wipeout" reached #2 on UK Top 100 on August 22, 1987 for 13 weeks. "Wipeout" was the last song the group members recorded for the album Crushin', but it was she who helped the album received a Platinum status in the United States.

The music video begins with an announcement of a boxing match, The Fat Boys and The Beach Boys are attending the match. The match is interrupted by a fight. In the following scene, The Fat Boys load up a car with swimsuits and then drive off. The Beach Boys are driving in a dune buggy through the city. Both bands go around the city in the direction of a beach, while they perform the song and animate the inhabitants of the city to come to the beach. Meanwhile, at the beach one of The Fat Boys tries to lift a heavy weight and is laughed at by two women because of failure, another playing volleyball and another surfing. The Beach Boys on the other hand are DJing in the street. In the course of the video all celebrate a beach party.

The group was later approached to record the theme song for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), called "Are You Ready for Freddy", which featured Robert Englund performing as Freddy Krueger.

The next album called Coming Back Hard Again repeated the formula of the previous one. This time, The Fat Boys recorded a cover version of the song "The Twist" with Chubby Checker, who performed it originally in 1960. The single peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 40 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song "The Twist (Yo, Twist)" reached number two on UK Top 100 on June 18, 1988 for 11 weeks. Another song from the album, "Louie Louie", is a cover version of a 1957 song by American singer Richard Berry. The song peaked at number 46 on UK Top 100 on November 5, 1988 for 4 weeks

However, the tastes of the listeners at that time have already changed. By taking part in the rash rap opera On And On, the group tried to regain its fame, but this only accelerated the breakup of the group. Prince Markie Dee left the group to pursue solo interests, which included producing many early tracks for Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige which included her debut single, "Real Love". In 1991, the remaining two members, Kool Rock-Ski and Buff Love, carried on as a duo and released Mack Daddy (1991), but shortly thereafter, the group disbanded (until 2008). In the 1992 feature film Boomerang, Chris Rock's character laments the breakup of the Fat Boys. He was later quoted by Jay-Z in his 2001 song the "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)".

On December 10, 1995, Buff Love died of a heart attack during a bout with respiratory flu in Rosedale, Queens, New York. He was 28 years old and reportedly weighed 450 pounds (200 kg).

The surviving members of the Fat Boys launched its first official homepage,, on November 5, 2008. According to the website, the Fat Boys recorded its first track "Fat Boys Unite" in nearly two decades and have plans of doing a reality TV show in search of a new member.

In March 2009, Kool Rock-ski announced the launch of his official website, His first solo project, the EP Party Time, was released on April 14, 2009.

On October 18, 2010, the cable network TV One's aired Unsung: The Story of The Fat Boys. It mentioned that the two surviving members reunited and were touring with Doug E. Fresh who was providing the beatboxing. There has been no confirmation if he is the new third permanent member. This was produced by the group's manager, Louis Gregory, publicly known as Uncle Louie.

In August 2012, The Fat Boys were scheduled to perform at the 13th annual Gathering of the Juggalos in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois but ultimately failed to appear.

In early 2015, The Fat Boys re-launched their clothing line,

Prince Markie Dee is a current radio host for WEDR 99 Jamz in Miami, Florida working weekends. Kool Rock-ski resides in New York.


Fat Boys (1984)
The Fat Boys Are Back (1985)
Big & Beautiful (1986)
Crushin' (1987)
Coming Back Hard Again (1988)
On and On (1989)
Mack Daddy (1991)


The Twist

All You Can Eat

Are You Ready for Freddy


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