RapReviews | Review: Fat Boys – Fat Boys

Fat BoysBefore Biggie, Rick Ross, Heavy D, Big Pun, Chubb Rock or any other chunky phenoms in hip-hop, there were the Fat Boys. If you wanted to look at the Brooklyn-bred trio as a husky man’s version of Run-D.M.C., I’d wholeheartedly agree with you. While immortalized first by Chris Rock in the movie “Boomerang” and subsequently in a famous lyric by Jay-Z, the Fat Boys are largely overlooked in the pantheon of hip-hop legends. For anyone who might’ve missed it, the Fat Boys were the first to record beatboxing on wax, part of the first corporate-sponsored rap concert, had a appearance in “Krush Groove,” garnered video rotation on MTV and were one of the first rap groups to tour in Europe. The story of The Disco 3’s meteoric rise to stardom is an interesting one. Prince Markie Dee, Kool Rock Ski and Buff Love the Human Beatbox met during their childhood in the eastern section of Brooklyn. Inspired by “Rapper’s Delight,” the guys decided that they would form their own rap group. There were originally three other members in the crew and they billed themselves as The Hypnotize Five featuring DJ Doc Nice (aka Buff Love). The group would become the Disco 3 after it became evident that the other three weren’t as dedicated to the mission at hand. The 3 began performing at talent shows in the area and soon enough, the 3 found themselves entering WBLS’ Tin Pan Apple Dance & Rap Contest. During the semi-final round, the 3 found themselves simply going to support another group called The Bad Boys in hopes of getting put on one of their records if THEY won. As fate would have it, the 3 won instead and then went on to Radio City Music Hall and won the whole pie.

The prize was a record deal with Sutra Records, but the first single they dropped in late 1983 entitled “Reality” went largely unnoticed. This prompted their management of Charlie Stettler and Lynda West to reach out to one of the biggest names in rap music at the time to produce them, none other than Kurtis Blow. The switch to Kurtis Blow coincided with a name change, they were now officially known as the Fat Boys, but they would continue to make references to themselves as the Disco 3. One of their first songs under the FB moniker was simply titled “Fat Boys” and was an instant hit in 1984. Blow then assembled his own team to complete their debut album of the same name. Now, some 28 years after its release on vinyl, the album has been remastered and released in CD format. I really wanted to use a pizza slice metaphor here while going through the rigmarole of exploring the album’s tracks but being that there are only 15 (one track is not included in the track list) as opposed to a number that is divisible by both 2 and 4, it’s kinda impossible. I guess I’ll take a different approach: This deluxe edition of “Fat Boys” is like a three-course meals of sorts. We have an appetizer of interviews with the late Mr. Magic on WBLS, the seven-track main course of the original album and a dessert tray of bonus tracks that includes the first single the Disco 3 cut after winning the contest. Although the track listing does not reflect this completely (The sequence is album, bonus cuts and then interviews), one could certainly make an argument for it.