The Fat Boys

The Fat Boys

Synopsis of Pop Music

“$3.99 for all you can eat?
Well, I'm-a stuff my face to a funky beat!”

Rap fans can argue all day about who deserves the king of rap crown, but everyone agrees that the Fat Boys were its clown princes. This trio of young New Yorkers mixed rhyming skills, slapstick humor, and a bit of social commentary to create some of the most entertaining music of the early rap era. In the process, they helped popularize rap music with pop audiences and paved the way for the hip-hop renaissance of the 1990’s.

All three of the Fat Boys grew up together in Brooklyn. They all loved to rap, and Robinson had unique skills as a human ‘beat box’ (in other words, he could make an elaborate array of percussion sounds with his mouth). They won a rap contest at Radio City Music Hall in 1983 and the prize was a record contract. They started recording with rap pioneer Kurtis Blow at the controls and scored a Top-20 hit on the r&b charts in 1984 with “Jail House Rap,” a comic but cautionary tale of petty crime leading to jail time. The song’s thick, bass-heavy sound also made it popular at dance clubs.

The next year, the Fat Boys appeared in the rap-themed film Krush Groove and showed off their comedic and musical skills with their performance of “All You Can Eat.” They also continued to record club classics like “Hard Core Reggae,” which added reggae into their hip-hop mix, and “In The House,” a radio favorite that featured scratching. In 1987, they scored a Top-10 hit on the pop charts with “Wipe Out,” a beach-party-themed song that featured the Beach Boys on backup vocals. Both groups appeared in the hilarious video for the song, which quickly became an MTV favorite.

Cruisin’, the album that featured “Wipe Out,” soon became a platinum-selling hit. The Fat Boys followed this success up with a feature-film vehicle called Disorderlies. It featured the group as a trio of bumbling orderlies dispatched to take care of an ailing millionaire and cemented their ‘Three Stooges of Rap’ image. In 1988, the Fat Boys released Comin Back Hard Again and scored another pop hit with “The Twist (Yo Twist!),” a rap version of the pop classic that also featured that song’s original vocalist, Chubby Checker.

The Fat Boys scored another hit later in 1988 when they recorded “Are You Ready For Freddy?,” the theme song for A Nightmare On Elm Street, Part IV. They broke up in the early 90’s after releasing On and On, a hip-hop concept album. Since then, Prince Markie Dee has begun a successful second career as an r&b songwriter and producer. And while their rap/comedy stylings may have disappeared from the current scene, the musical legacy of the Fat Boys remains popular with pop and hip-hop listeners alike for its mixture of smooth beats and cheerful good humor.

Artist Release History

1984 - The Fat Boys
1985 - The Fat Boys Are Back
1986 - Yo, Twist!
1986 - Big & Beautiful
1987 - Crushin'
1988 - Coming Back Hard Again
1988 - Krush on You
1989 - On and On
1991 - Mack Daddy

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Essential Music Albums

All Meat, No Filler: The Best Of The Fat Boys (Rhino)

Band Members

Mark 'Prince Markie Dee' Morales vocals
Damon 'Kool Rock-Ski' Wimbley vocals
Darren 'The Human Beat Box' Robinson vocals

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