Urban Legend: The Human Beat Box

When hip-hop producer PL 12 was a young boy, he had to keep his love for iconic trio The Fat Boys a secret. He was especially impressed by its late member, The Human Beat Box. “I remember sneaking, listening to The Fat Boys as a little kid,” he says, “trying to learn how to beatbox. They were great motivation to me.”

The Human Beat Box was motivation to many. Born Darren Robinson, the New York native also known as Buff Love helped pioneer and popularize the art of beatboxing—a form of verbal percussion using the mouth and voice. His unique ability coupled with a humorous personality

The Human Beat Box

The Human Beat Box

contributed to The Fat Boys’ breakout success, and was an intricate part of their hits list which includes “Stick’Em,” “Can You Feel It?,” “All You Can Eat,” “Sex Machine,” and “Wipe Out.” Robinson, who suffered from lymphedema, passed away December 10, 1995. The cause was said be cardiac arrest brought on by respiratory flu.

Producer and DJ Prezidential Poe of duo MissingLinx says The Human Beat Box is missed because, “he embodied the essence of hip-hop,” which he and his group mates displayed in films Krush Groove and Disoderlies. “He made hip-hop fun and put smiles on millions of people’s faces,” Poe adds. “The Human Beat Box is hip-hop.”

fat-boys

The Fat Boys

Grand Rapids Hip-hop Coalition founder Governor Slugwell calls The Human Beat Box a “great character with a joyous personality” who was true to The Fat Boys’ moniker with larger than life talent. “Without him,” Slugwell begins, “and his beatbox progenitors—Dougie Fresh, Biz Markie, Rahzel, The Human Jock Box, and Ready Rock C—in the mix, hip-hop is missing a valuable piece of itself that’s not being represented in popular music.”

For many, Buff Love was the first person they’d ever seen perform this element of hip-hop culture, Slugwell says. “Being a member of The Fat Boys and a standout on all of their chart- topping singles, it’s fair to say he almost single handedly introduced a generation of youth worldwide to the art of The Human Beat Box.”

Darren “Buff Love” Robinson, aka The Human Beat Box, is a music icon who will never be forgotten.

—Mr. Joe Walker

Mr. Joe Walker is an urban and pop culture enthusiast. Known as “The Word Heavyweight Champion”, the biographer, author, entertainment and celebrity journalist, and columnist is currently a senior writer for SoulTrain.com, staff writer for Muskegon Tribune Newspaper, and writer of weekly classic hip-hop reviews for Concrete Magazine’s Concrete615.com. Also co-creator of TheGrooveSpot.com, Walker’s acclaimed, award-winning work has been published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. He is also working on a book project with Liquid Arts & Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker, connect with him on Facebook, and also visit his blog ByMrJoeWalker.blogspot.com.

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