In this edition of The Word is Bond Podcast, we take a look back at a first season episode of Know Your History. Know Your History is a documentary radio show that I produce once a month to focus on some of the important dates, topics, and artists in hip-hop music and culture. The focus of the show today is on the fifth element of hip-hop – the human beatbox.
Beatboxing joined the culture of hip-hop quite early. It can’t be credited to a single person, however. Much like graffiti, it sprung up quickly and we’re not exactly sure where the credit needs to go. Beatboxing is, quite literally, the art of making music with your mouth. We’re not talking about singing. We’re not talking about rapping. We’re talking about making music, using our mouth to make the accompaniment. Beatboxers use their mouth, lips, tongue, and voice to create musical sounds such as drum kits and any other kind of accompanying music you can think of. Where did the term beatboxing come from?
Back in the 1970s there were pre-programmed drum machines. These drum machines provided loops for musicians to use instead of having to rely on a live drummer. You’ve probably heard of some of these machines. They are quite famous and have been mentioned in several hip-hop songs. People referred to these drum machines as their “beatbox.” The TR-808 came out in 1982 and is probably the most notable beatbox for all of hip-hop culture. However, these beatbox machines had been around since the 70s. Vocal Percusssion When people started to emulate these beatbox machines by making percussion sounds with their mouths, people referred to them as beatboxers. When it comes to beatboxing there are three pioneers whose names will come up time and time again; The Fat Boys, Doug E Fresh, and Biz Markie. Any show on beatboxing would not be complete without these three names. Press play and enjoy the show! Next Week – We launch The Word is Bond Rap Radio Hour We start the hour-long format of the podcast next week with a special edition highlighting some amazing tracks that you submitted.
We were going to countdown the Top 5 but with the sheer amount of amazing tracks we received, we just couldn’t do it. So next week, we will showcase the Top 10 submissions and ask you to vote for The Top 5.