BEATBOXING started in the 1980s as an element of hip hop. Since then it has progressed with beatbox competitions and world championships, and people such as these 10 ultra talented beatboxers turning it into an art form in itself.
He got his nickname from a show early in his career where a name was needed for the flyer, and at that exact moment, he had a beard. And a star was born. He was the 2006 and 2007 UK Beatbox Champion, and he has a touch of the tongue-in-cheek comedian to him when he performs – check out his “Kitchen Diaries” clip on youtube.
I remember in high school band that only girls would every play the flute. So wrong – another UK beatboxer, Nathan “Flutebox” Lee makes the flute manly and, frankly, bad ass.
Here’s a bonus to working at Google – they apparently bring in some pretty wicked live entertainment.
Doug E. Fresh was one of the pioneers of beatboxing in the 1980s. His website proclaims him as “the original human beat box.” I don’t know if he was the first person ever, or just the first one to popularize it, but I don’t know that I care – he’s still around, and he’s good.
This New Yorker beatboxer and former member of the group The Roots is known for his ability to rap/sing and beatbox at the same time. He does it here at the 2005 Red Bull BC One.
French beatboxer, performing since 1990, Eklips is also a member of Le Remède. Watch him perform the history of hip hop in 4 minutes.
Men may be able to hit bass notes easier, but there are some amazing women beatboxers out there, like Bellatrix. She started performing in 2004, and in 2007, she formed The Boxettes – an all female beatbox group. In 2009, she became the Female World Beatbox Champion. Watch her face off for that prize with Swiss beatboxer Steff la Cheffe.
Biz Markie is another beatbox pioneer and legend. Along with more traditional performance venues – concerts, clubs, etc., he’s also performs on the American children’s TV show Yo Gabba Gabba with the “Biz’s Beat of the Day” segment. (Rahzel’s also been on the show.) At first, I thought it was a bit off putting that he’d be on a kid’s show, but then as I thought about it, it makes sense – he’s introducing kids to the genre.
Matisyahu is a Hasidic Jewish musician who blends reggae music with beatboxing, Jewish musical motifs, and rap. He came onto the scene in 2004 with his first album “Shake Off the Dust…Arise.” Skip to the 2:30 mark in this rendition of “One Day” for his freestyling.
An old school beatboxer, Kenny Muhammad is known as the “Human Orchestra” after performing in a score composed by conductor and composer David Eaton. He’s also the originator of the “wind technique,” which is basically audible breathing while simultaneously making other noises – try it for yourself with this tutorial, though it make take you quite awhile to have the breath control and skill to do it well.
SkilleR is one of the world’s fast beatboxers, and while a relative newcomer to the scene (he’s in his early 20’s), he was Bulgaria’s first national beatbox champion and he’s performed worldwide.
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