The 10 Best Beatboxers of All Time
Our boy Elliot from Sneak Attack ghost wrote this for sunnydayentertainment.com and sent it over.
Beat-boxing is 1 of the 4 original elements of hip-hop. Wikipedia defines it as “a form of vocal percussion which primarily involves the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue and voice.” Beat-boxing has been around in some form for thousands of years, in fact the human body was most likely the first musical instrument used in ancient African tribal ceremonies, Indian music and even in the Chinese vocal art of Kouji.
Anyway, I’ve put together what I think are the 10 best beat-boxers, in no particular order. Watch the videos, leave comments for your favorite and don’t forget to grab the free downloads at the bottom of the post, some honorable mentions that couldn’t be left out.
1. Skiller, from the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia, is hailed as the fastest beat-boxer in Europe and possibly in the world, this dude is from another planet.
2. Rahzel, by far one of the illest in the game, an original member of the legendary Roots Crew, nicknamed the Godfather of Noyze, from Philadelphia. Rahzel is probably responsible for taking beat-boxing to the mainstream and earning it that next level of recognition. Wu Tang Medley and Mortal Kombat routines below, some of the best ever.
3. No discussion on beat-boxing would be complete without the Fat Boys, one of the early pioneers of the art from, straight outta Brooklyn, NY. Buff Love was the main beat-boxer of the group and was a true innovator in not only beat-boxing but hip-hop as a whole. Check out their classic hit The Human Beat Box.
4. Kenny Muhammad aka The Human Orchestra is known for using the wind technique, which relies heavily on breathing as a main element of the beat-box routine. Kenny earned his nickname after performing the song Kenny’s Joy with the New York Philharmonic. Old school footage of Kenny at The Apollo (from Tivo)
and the classic routine with the NY Philharmonic.
5. MC Squared, a friend of mine from back in the day and a beast on the mic, has spent the past few years mastering his craft. Check out his winning performance from the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem.
6. Shlomo is of Israeli, Iraqi and German descent and grew up in England. His claim to fame is his 2-mic trancebox routine and he is one of the key people behind the global beatbox portal humanbeatbox.com. He can speak Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic and is probably one of the best beat-boxers in the UK. I love this video doing De La Soul’s ‘Magic Number’, from the Human Beatbox Convention 2007 in London.
7. They didn’t call him the King of Pop for nothing, Michael can do it all, even beat-box. RIP
8. Beardyman takes this thing to a whole new level with kaos pads, loop machines and reverb boxes, check out the Oompa Loompa Blues.
and to prove he’s got legit skills, check out his When Will I Be Famous routine, with nothing but a mic.
9. I wish there were more women on this list, but Julia Dales aka JD Squeak, the 18 year old from Canada is the cream of the crop.
10. Doug E. Fresh, the first to be dubbed the human beat box, is another true pioneer of the art form, both with rapping and beat-boxing. Who doesn’t know the words to La Di Da Di? And his track The Human Beatbox is a gem for all those aspiring beat-boxers out there. I’ll leave you with this clip of Doug E. Fresh, part interview/part beat-box on the streets of NYC from 1986. Real talk!