Unsung | The Story Of The Fat Boys
storyof the fat
boysin the early 1980s the fresh sounds of hip-hop were flowing out of new york neighborhoods to radio and record stores much of it infused with a hard message about hard times rappers was the reporters of what was going on the streets so when you got i saw like the message it really it showed the angst what was going on it was the first time that america and black people had heard this message being relayed this way this frankly this straight in your face what is rap oh it's something it's something that you really get into something that you let everybody out in the street know about phone funk over in brooklyn three football playing teenagers found themselves drawn both to the music and to each other i moved down to skank avenue in east new york and cool rock was already living on the block and both moved on the block and i remember seeing him being corrupted like yo look at this big guy's dude is huge look at his ass it's like five asses buffy was like wow you know happy always doing something and laughing you know it's like the room just light it up and boy let me tell you something we split street football could nobody stop buff this is my crib this is where we started yeah we still house parties right down in my basement right clean the basement out and we charge people like what five dollars like a dollar two dollars a dollar two dollars and sometimes the house will be shaking and i was like yo my house you know...
i'm not gonna i remember mark saying we should put a group together we should be our own group and we'll call ourselves a disco three mark and damon provided the words and buff the beats we were playing a lot one day and he just started doing these beatbox sounds i was like whoa you know it was crazy because he sounded like an actual drum and we're looking like like what the is that coming out your mouth like what are you doing like are you beating on something there was so much bass can you show us something oh yeah you'll get a little demonstration the message no no no just anything just anything well it's both photoshop come and be fox let's make them freak i we would always invade somebody else's block party and cool rock would start rapping and buffer start beatboxing they used to blow everybody's mind everybody it was a real cool dynamic because it was different everybody had one rapper a dj two rappers a dj there's like no dj we got a dude that make the music the place where they got busy was a legendary bronx club called disco fever all right so 26 years ago exactly 26 joints i was 14 years old and we came down these very stairs right here on the train all the way from from brooklyn from the first stop in brooklyn to almost this is almost the last stop in the bronx this dude couldn't even sneak up here my mom's real strict she didn't want me in the box so i had to sneak up here with these two guys buff and mark yeah...
remember coming up here also i remember thinking like are we gonna be able to get in the club like what's the situation i mean you come here and you look at look at it now it's a church and some of us should have went to church after the damn club but you know i think that it's appropriate just to church now all the damn sense that went down in that piece boy i tell you the scene there drew the attention of a hustling promoter turned hip hop enthusiast named charles stetler in 1984 he helped organize a talent contest at the club we got the posters printed and hung them all over the five boroughs and started in fiorucci's window what about three weeks ago pigs had to come up on stage and this horrendous piece of crap was playing in the back and they had to rhyme over it at the last minute we decided to join it was like yo should we join yo let's join later for let's get up there what are your expectations participating in this contest no really you know you just want to win at the semifinals the fearless four kurdish blow they were judging they picked us and then three days later it was the final at radio city music hall what would it mean for you to win in radio city music hall yeah because you know one day you want to be famous just like everybody else we want to be up there with truckers three grandmaster flash and a furious 5. you know you want to be nice no but we're going to radio music hall and i'm like okay i said and that's why i...
think radio music is always talking about you know to get there you have to be famous it was a big hoop a lot and you know we had all of new york city out there it was incredible marquis d and coolerak were decent rhymers i think it was okay but in my opinion buffy stole the whole show when they got out there and this beatbox guy got up there i was like wow i was amazed to see a new style a new kind of hip-hop the winner after they said the fat
boyswon out i'll never forget it i cut out of the side door and i wasn't even paying attention i almost got hit by a car i was so excited that they won first prize for winning the contest was a record deal since the fat
boyshad no manager charles stetler and his partner linda west offered themselves up for the job we really didn't know what we were doing any more than they did we had a feeling for what was going on in the industry that we're going to catch this wave charlie's knew that hip-hop was going to be something ginormous he knew this thing was going to be the next rock and roll he just knew it he felt it in his bones and he saw his ticket with the fat
boysyou know stetler used his overseas contacts to book the young teenagers on a european tour you have to put one thing in perspective these three guys were 14 15 and 16. they were not ambitious musicians i remember charlie coming to us our old manager saying look guys we got two choices here you can stay in school and we can do this thing or we can go to...
europe right now get you guys some tutors and you guys can become famous when we said we were going to europe buffy he was scared to death and i'm saying don't you want to be a star and somebody yeah yeah but i don't want to fly and finally he stops he goes listen if i paid for it myself and if i started and i left two weeks earlier could i take the bus we were out there crying i'm from brooklyn you know what i mean i'm 14 years old at times and i'm in east germany west germany i mean i mean i'm all over the place and all i could think about was girls well the girls that that's what i want with no friends and no girls the fat
boysturned to food at one stop their manager got an extra bill for four hundred dollars and that's when the lady told me that your guys every morning after you leave go down in the kitchen and they eat like crazy and i went up the stairs i never forget and i knocked on the door and i i said why don't you call yourself peppers you're nothing but a bunch of bad
boysyou know this is not going to happen we're not going to be calling no fat
boyswe weren't fat you know we're just a little chubby kids every time somebody called the book us they'd ask for the fat
boysthey wouldn't ask for the disco tree so we had this big name change party at roseland ballroom in in new york and we officially changed our name from the discovery to the fat
boyswere on their way hip hop would never...
sound or look the same we were voted the most second popular act in music only to michael jackson that's how popular we were man i used to go on people would be looking look he's about to eat with a new name and look to match the fat boy set to work on their second single in 1984 with rap star curtis blow at the helm so you guys are kind of a little overweight here hmm let's think about why don't we make a record called the fat
boysthat would be a nice idea play the track were blown away be like oh got girl singing on it that boy sounds official he gave us this sound and we went inside we started writing rhymes to it came back and you know he loved it and charlie loved it so it was something that he can explain his product he can put out released in 1984 fat
boyssold over 200 000 copies and became the most requested radio jam in new york it's hard to associate the fat
boyswith power but that's what that sounded like it sounded like an anthem of some sort for a group that was about to be incredible now box where did you uh how did you develop that sound that you i don't know you know you might be calling you boxing they call me the ox that rocks that's my nickname nah you know i just you know you you know you should you know just listen to the wreckage i just used to just trace the beast out you know everybody say you don't stop that noise stupid you know see you don't just hit me in my head on the b the routine called stigma used...
to do that was the most incredible thing as a producer to witness and and hear this sound which is like an instrument all by itself it was the first acapella hip-hop song out i mean we stripped down the drums it was no kind of chorus there was nothing but a cappella it was right in your face with stickum buff established himself along with dougie fresh and bismarck as one of the pioneers of beatboxing dougie was buffy was more based buffy was more and i'd be wrong if i said both wasn't better than dougie you know but then again i i i'd be wrong if i if if i if i didn't say it with both sides of their single heating up the airwaves the fat
boyswere living large yeah remember we were still in high school at this time we were signing autographs for people who were who wanted to fight us you know two weeks before hillary's hands like let me get your autograph i thought you wanted to beat my head in like a couple of days ago and i want my autograph no my mother once said she loves that song people start saying to me because they're recognizing me and i had to slowly kind of figure out all right they're not stealing because they want to fight me or they want to rob me they're looking at me because they recognize me you know they want my autograph they want to take a picture with me or something man i used to go on people would be looking look he's about to eat i'm sitting at a diner with a girl and i'm like and like like six people...
looking at me like she's just smiling like the fat
boysreleased their self-titled debut album in 1984. it broke another hit titled jailhouse wraps a
storyabout doing hard time for stealing pizza when other rappers would be like i'm really in jail they were like i'm going to jail based on eating too much or running up a bill and not paying it that was a fun record that was a fun record to record that was a fun video to shoot i love performing that song our first raps for in jail were really really raw you know my line was like they put me in the slam but i don't give a damn fighting with my old man shooting cops in the back cause i had it like that you know what i'm saying then and the record company heard this they were like oh we can't put this out you know you guys are not known for this so we went back inside the studio the next day we did the more comical stuff the fat
boyswere on a roller coaster that would soon speed beyond their control you got five girls in your room and they want nothing more than to be with you you know what i mean you know we just we're just walling out we're going crazy i stopped counting after twenty thousand with two hits off their first album the fat
boyswere one of the hottest groups in hip-hop seizing the moment their managers promoted them not just as a band but as a brand my goal and her goal was from the beginning if we can attach ourselves to everything that we produce for them we never have to take...
a management fee from them we never need an agent from them which is why the five
boysended up clocking five and a half million dollars five years into it and had more money than anybody else dealing with charlie was like if you look up the word manager in the dictionary you'll definitely see his face that's what he was he was a manager and he can sell sand to the freaking beach in 1985 the group got a boost from their scene-stealing role in the movie crush groove people actually thought at the time date all that food yeah yeah then we had all that food yeah all the peeps and everything we had spit buckets right there and this pool was cold it was getting nasty and so we're there all day like happening but you know it was a memorable scene we had lost our minds first we do our albums like we're doing movies it was like a couple of days ago and i want my autograph now my mother once said she loves that song people start saying to me because they're recognizing me and i had to slowly kind of figure out all right they're not standing because they want to fight me or they want to rob me they're looking at me because they recognize me you know they want my autograph they want to take a picture with me or something man i used to go on people would be looking look he's about to eat i'm sitting at a diner with a girl and i'm like and like like six people looking at me like she's just smiling like the fat
boysreleased their self-titled...
debut album in 1984. it broke another hit titled jailhouse wrap a
storyabout doing hard time for stealing pizza when other rappers would be like i'm really in jail they were like i'm going to jail based on eating too much or running up a bill and um not paying it that was a fun record and it was crazy we get back after the show and as the whole lobby is filled with girls filled with women all over the place first priority is to get to the room and shower second priority is to order domino's pizza pizza whatever are we gonna eat third party go get your thing for the night you know what i mean buff was the player player you know he would get the hotel suites and he changed the light bulbs he had changed the light bulbs from from regular white lights to to red lights and blue lights you know you walk into his room you're like what the hell is going on in here is this the 1970s every concert but for the next like a couple of days ago i want my autograph no my mother wants and she loves that song people start saying to me because they're recognizing me and i had to slowly kind of figure out all right they're not standing because they want to fight me or they want to rob me they're looking at me because they recognize me you know they want my autograph they want to take a picture with me or something man i used to go on people would be looking look he's about to eat i'm sitting at a diner with a girl and i'm like and like like six people...
looking at me like she's smiling like the fat
boysreleased their self-titled debut album in 1984. it broke another hit titled jailhouse rap a
storyabout doing hard time for stealing pizza when other rappers would be like i'm really in jail they were like i'm going to jail based on eating too much or running up a bill and not paying it that was a fun record and it was crazy we get back after the show and his the whole lobby is filled with girls filled with women all over the place first party is to get to the room and shower second party is to order domino's pizza pizza whatever how we're gonna eat third party go get your thing for the night you know what i mean buff was the player player you know he would get the hotel suites and he'd change the light bulbs he'll change the light bulbs from from regular white lights to to red lights and blue lights you know you walk into his room you're like what the hell is going on in here is this the 1970s every concept of for the next four or four years women mothers backstage buffy come here and they would get them and close it do it baby he got more than anybody i ever met in my whole life will chamberlain included okay like i should have slapped myself up for some of the things that i've done in my past but hey you know then louie louie began to crack the fat boy's credibility in the hood doing beach
boysdoing chubby checker that was cool to me because i was a person that had no boundaries...
but to your soul-core hardcore rap fans they probably didn't understand i'm like yo we're really going to be considered selloffs like that our our core audience is going to turn their backs on us i think charlie was trying to make us bigger than hip-hop but at the same time he was taking us away from the elements of the streets of hip-hop because hip-hop is from the streets the fat
boysand their managers were coming to a crossroads and a collision you're supposed to make your twenty percent you're managing us and on top of that you're my record label me i can guarantee you that the five
boysmade three times more money than we made during that time and i have documents to prove it we should have been taking care of business you know but we're not by the late 1980s the fat
boyswere at the peak of their popularity but their music and image was taking them further from hip hop's roots and its future there's this whole other movement coming out of hip-hop and that was a whole different seriousness and this seriousness didn't tolerate a lot of comedy i remember first hearing from nwa with a straight out of compton i'm like damn you know this is crazy so you look at the stuff we're doing it's like walking into freaking disneyland it's now heading towards l.a rap it's hitting dr dre and it's getting really gangster stuff and we can't possibly do that surely you understand that for our brand but the fat
growing tired of their brand as well he's great at seeing you know the greatness in something and exploiting it but that's not all we want to be known for we got into this because we want to be rappers but stetler's vision had propelled the fat
boysto the top and he didn't intend to change i said but if you want to make money this is what we created i'm not saying it's the greatest thing in the world but they sold more records in the first two years than run dmc and houdini together people who didn't really like nwa didn't like public enemy carriers weren't what they were doing they still loved us it's us who wanted to change tensions between stetler and the group went beyond music the deal they'd signed with polygram had put staedtler in charge of their label as well as their management he also owned the fat boy's name you're managing us and on top of that you're my record label so if i have a beef on my record label how am i gonna expect my manager to help me work this out when you are my manager it doesn't work i can guarantee that the five
boysmade three times more money than we made during that time and i have documents to prove it so i don't want to ever hear another word about money because if you are going to do a documentary and these accusations are made look what you did what you did with that money it's not our problem we probably made about 30 million dollars the fat
boysprobably saw about...
1.5 million a piece of that money well our parents took care of us you know as far as taking care of our finances but we should have been taking care of our business but when you're young like that you don't think about that the fat
boysfelt trapped by their image in more ways than one charlie my manager i remember him saying a couple of times yo you gotta eat more you gotta put some weight on you know and i didn't understand that you know i didn't understand it to the point where nah i'm not agreeing with that you bring cool rock and martin yeah right in front of me and tell that to my face yes i used to bring you i used to bring you salads and stuff like that and you ran and you ran roll it out they i was doing a lot of promotion i brought the fat
boysout to a delphi university and in the writer you know i had to have like you know like 99 burgers from burger king and sure enough they ate a hundred burgers man they were pressured not only by the record company not only by the management they were pressured by you know all of their fans you know ah how could you guys be fat
boysand you're not fat as the beef heated up between marquis d and his manager the fat
boysbecame one big unhappy family one night at a show it all came crashing down that night we were going to renew the fat
boyscontract with polygram multi-million dollar deal we were going to do multi-million dollars watch watch deal and as i walked in marketing was on stage sweating...
profusely ripping off swatch watches ripped me off i didn't want to curse for now if i want to curse that curse you might it just went on the tirade that he wouldn't possibly remember what he said we had a big beef to show me and charlie and when i get back to my hotel room bang on my door open the doors my road manager he's bringing a plane ticket into me he goes trying to make me bring us to you i'm sorry mark you're out of the group but without marquis dean the fat
boyswere quickly dropped by their label the next week they cancelled everything the fat
boysactually went up to polygram and tried to talk and they were escorted out we had nothing to do with that we weren't even there they were escorting the label escorted them up just like that the fat
boyswere done and darker days were just around the corner you're like yo yo rock get the buffs out he's not breathing the whole thing that happened tonight is something i'm never gonna forget the breakup of the fat
boysin 1989 turned out to be a blessing in disguise for marky d he formed a production team with composer corey rooney and in 1992 they wrote real love destined to be a classic for mary j blige we were at la with mary poff a couple other people and paul forton say yo real love is the next single i'm like for real he's like yeah i'm like yeah i started to do it on another level where love came out real love also caught the attention of singer mariah carey along with...
her fiance cbs records president tommy mottola he's going so what do you guys want to do and i goes well we want to open up a studio done what else you want we want to start a label done what else you want give me something harder because well i want to put out my own solo record sweetheart as prince marky d and the soul convention he released his first solo album and scored a number one hit with an old school jam called typical reasons flinch foggy d in the soul convention was about rap lyrics over a bed of soulful music with army hooks that was what mark's whole sound was that's why i love that music so much my mother's list to it so much that that old r b the temptations and all of that it resonated big time at the time because that was a what was going on but it was well produced it was smooth it was melodic we did records for um you know all kinds of people jasmine guy mariah carey you know like all it just just didn't stop at that point while marquis was flying high charles stetler was keeping himself in the game at times managing such artists as ron and ed lover and dr drake but cool and buff were laying low they'd released one last record together as the fat
boystitled mack daddy the record flopped and for a while after that cool and buff didn't do much either we're waking up like two o'clock in the afternoon we're living that rock style light you know two o'clock in the afternoon you know we're not going out the door...
to like five in the in in the evening buff made news in 1993 when he was charged with videotaping an underage girl having sex at a party he was sentenced to two years probation when i saw the tape i'm like well he didn't do anything but at the same time like okay now the fat
boysare ready now we're really getting into a whole different kind of light you know pulling back from the public eye buff became more serious about making music in his home studio while also helping to care for his young son quentin to this day i don't go to sleep without music because that's like all i remember from when i was younger the studio was on the first floor but even when i slept on the second floor and i always hear the music like all night long we built the studio in the house so you know that's basically where you found him at all the time and stuff you know he just wasn't moving around as much and stuff and he started to gain more weight physically buff had always been the biggest of the fat
boysand by the mid 1990s he'd gotten bigger and i think he wasn't taking care of himself because he just felt like you know what i'm i'm who i am everybody knows me as buff they know me they know i'm big so i'mma give them what they want i spoke to buff about doing the new album a reunion album about me producing the album about me getting a deal for it was tommy because i had that avenue whatever i wanted to do at sony record sony done mark you...
know was coming around to my house like yo let's practice if we gonna do it let's practice so then buff started saying he's not in the condition to do it you know it's time what's going on he's like yo d i'm not i'm not ready to do this so we kind of shot those planes down buff's weight was aggravated by a condition called lymphedema in which excess fluid often builds up in the limbs by late 1995 he weighed over 600 pounds it would be huge things on his legs and in order for him to have gastric bypass he had to lose 100 pounds and then they could surgically remove those things on his legs and he could have gastric bypass and he lived a normal life i took him to dr steven heim's field who was the head of saint luke's roosevelt's weight division they gave him these huge kind of water pills and he lost like 133 pounds in like maybe two and a half weeks and you can see his face getting you know starting to transform and all around here is getting kind of thinner he was coming down to like 480 somewhere around there but then he caught the flu and then his flu turned into walking pneumonia he's like yo d we gonna do it man yo i'm gonna get myself in shape i'm gonna lose this weight yo we gonna go back out we gonna kill him it was a saturday night and i'm on the phone but i'll tell him i'm gonna get us a deal record his brand new fat
boysout and one in the morning when my mother starts calling me she's...
like ella no smuggler ella just called me buff fell down he's not breathing what people were coming in through the door firing they were trying to help him breathe trying to give him things to read and we were just praying and screaming don't leave us don't i tried to pick him up i couldn't pick him up and something he said he couldn't breathe so you know i started giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but it was just a little too late and we got out there he had passed away he was on the floor and his brother was just laying over him darren buff robinson was 28 years old when i saw the funeral you seen the body going down and all that stuff and i mean i don't know i never cried that hard ever you know it's real sad i broke down at the cough and i was gonna broke my heart i um he could have made it he could have made it and he he was a special kid to me he really was he was always you know just a genuine good person he wasn't out to get anything from you he was always if anything out to give something to you he was just a bundle of joy and you can see it wherever it was if it was on a record you know you could hear it and you can feel it and you just think about the times that you grew up with this guy this guy knew this guy since we were kids you know young kids just running around the streets now he's no longer here but sometimes you know like when i'm home when i'm asleep at night something like that i'll think about him...
i always get that feeling that he's always around 15 years after the death of buff robinson marky d and cool rock pay a visit to his queen's home would you scared to go down there catch up hi how are you okay that's the group that's the family right there it's like my that's like my sister it's like my father ah that's my dude right there man yeah this is my first my first time here since about passed away and no i didn't get i didn't get a revive but nothing i mean you know buff never gave you know buffers our family we love him to death you know we know he's watching over us you know these days like many a born new yorker marky and cool rock live in florida markey hosts an afternoon drive time show on miami radio station w-e-d-r it's 99 jam south florida's only station for hip-hop and rp you got it locked in with the original fat boy marquee deep in the building and i got a special guest hanging out with me first artist to be signed to rock nation y'all make some noise for jay coleman to build and clap it up baby thank you for having me man cole what's up baby the other day is the bomb because i'm able to keep myself relevant every artist that's popping wants to talk to me and i want to do records for them so they want to have a relationship with me my breath felt a little tart and i have no gum i about to get some candy i mean that's what it is he's just like a walking glow stick he looks at...
things in such a positive way and he was really like uh and still is lamented to me just in the business of music cool rock has a new look as well the former fat boy has transformed himself into a fitness buff that's a lot of weight a lot of people were apologizing to me a lot of rappers like common um you know all these guys are like i didn't know you were man i'm sorry kalaki was just passing by me and going what's up mark yo this is rock yeah sure what's up you know they didn't know after two decades apart the fat
boyshave recently reunited they have a new manager louis gregory a website and a clothing line and in the summer of 2010 cool and marquee performed together for the first time in almost two decades with help from legendary beat boxer doug e fresh we went over that song like maybe five or six times the night before and he was like i gotta get it right i gotta get it right you know this is buff man i gotta get this right now the only way i'll ever put a record out again is with the fat
boysagain and we're just going to make music and just have fun with it you know i'm not saying we're gonna rap about pizza i'm not saying we're not you know i mean that's bad boy stuff we might make a whole album about pizza pies whatever happens next the memories and music of hip-hop's happiest pioneers still casts a warm and lasting glow their legacy is they were fun they brought joy into a lot of people's lives so...
remember them as being the part of hip-hop that made you just feel good inside the fat