Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Fat Boys - Fat Boys

This week (May 29th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Fat Boys, the debut album from rap trio known as the Fat Boys. The guys were Prince Markie Dee (Mark Morales), the Human Beat Box (Darren Robinson) and Kool Rock-Ski (Damon Wimbley). They started out under the name of Disco 3, then the Original Fat Boys, and finally just the Fat Boys. This album spent forty weeks on the US Billboard Chart, peaking at number 48. It also went to number 6 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

Side one begins with the epic eight and a half minute long "Jail House Rap". As the first single, it reached number 17 on the US Billboard R&B chart. Kurtis Blow appears on the track as the piano player. It tells the tale of hungry men who ends up in jail because of their insatiable appetites.

Up next is "Stick 'Em", a self-promoting rap. It starts and ends with some beat boxing of the patriotic song "America".

The second single "Can You Feel It?" went to number 38 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The album version runs six minutes and forty seconds. The female backing vocals were provided by Audrew Wheeler, Alyson Williams and Tashawn.

Side two opens with "Fat Boys", a nearly seven minute version of a tune they first released under the name of the Disco 3. It has a solid mid-tempo dance groove to it.

"The Place To Be" throws down next with some microphone MC back and forth. I like the tribute to Spider-Man for one of the verses.

"Human Beat Box" spotlights the group's unique vocal instrument.

The record concludes with "Don't You Dog Me". I think the first time I heard this one was in the rap movie Krush Groove in which the band was featured.

What I have always liked about the Fat Boys is that they represented a fun side of early rap music. They managed to use humor and some self-deprecation to get their message out. In the 80's, things were a bit more laid back and loose. If the group had come out in more recent times, some mothers' group with too much time on their hands would be protesting the fact that the guys were calling themselves "fat".

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