1982 – 1992 (10 years)
Brooklyn, New York, New York, United States
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.
Manager Charlie Stettler was a Swiss national who had embraced hip-hop culture. In 1983, putting the two together he contacted the nascent Swatch company and offered the talents of his group. The American office marketing group, headed by Steven Rechtschaffner and Nancy Kadner, were starting to do some offbeat, interesting campaigns, and agreed to star the Fat Boys in one of MTV's earliest commercials. Stettler, knowing the video channel was playing no hip-hop, readily agreed. Even with no fee he sensed the exposure would catapult his trio into youth's mainstream. The company returned to The Fat Boys for a 1985 Christmas commercial, created by former MTV creative heads Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert.
The group's 1984 self-titled debut, The Fat Boys, is considered by many to be an early hip hop classic, with artists like Boogie Down Productions and Redman, among others, making references to the album.
Big Buff Love, the Human Beatbox, was a pioneer in beatboxing (using his mouth to create hip hop percussion sounds). He and another contemporary, Doug E. Fresh, popularized beatboxing, inspiring other artists to innovate, including Biz Markie.
For its 1987 album, Crushin', the Fat Boys made a cover version of The Surfaris' hit "Wipe Out" with The Beach Boys singing back-up vocals. The single made it to #12 on the Billboard chart, and #10 on the corresponding R&B listing. The Fat Boys also recorded a version of "The Twist" with Chubby Checker, who performed it originally in 1960.
Capitalizing on their good-humored personalities, the trio starred in the 1985 Run-D.M.C. feature film Krush Groove and in the 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. 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.
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.
The group's popularity declined by the 1990s. For example, 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)". 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).
On December 10, 1995, Buff Love died of a heart attack in Rosedale, Queens, New York. He was 28 years old and reportedly weighed 450 pounds (200 kg). Prince Markie Dee is a current radio host for WEDR 99 Jamz in Miami, Florida working weekends. Kool Rock-ski resides in New York.
The surviving members of the Fat Boys launched its first official homepage, OriginalFatBoys.com, 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, KoolRockSki.com. 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, FatBoysClothing.com.
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.