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Doug E. Fresh

The original human beatbox

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Doug E. Fresh: Live at Yoshi's SF

  • Apr 6, 2011
  • by
When I had first heard that Doug E. Fresh was coming to San Francisco, I told Nando- there is no way we're missing that show.

Entering the impressive Yoshi's (review soon to come), we made our way to the dance floor, those were the only tickets left in the almost sold out show and that was fine with me. I love dancing along to concerts and being close enough to the stage that you swear the artist made eye contact with you. There were people that were getting down and having a good time so I knew we were in for a fun night.

Doug E. Fresh came onto the stage after some technical delays ( I could go into detail here but, if you're not a sound person or DJ, you're not going to care). He came out full of energy and you wouldn't have ever known he'd just done another show right before this one. The first thing he said was an incredibly genuine, "I appreciate y'all. I really do". Then, he announced to the crowd that he was going to take us back in the day and we're gonna make it a party, y'all! He brought down the house by rocking out R&B and Hip-Hop from the 80s and early 90s. Fresh, not one to shy away from having older audiences, referred to everyone as "35 and better" and told the younger kids (aka 25 and under) that he was going to teach them what a hip-hop party is actually like.

The sound in this is not that great but, the clip will give you an idea of how much the audience was singing along with Fresh and how much he encouraged it. You get some of the call and response and his beatboxing, so it's a good example of how the show went.

He followed up with his promise and truly performed just like old school hip-hop block parties when rappers weren't performers but, hype men for the DJs (aka MCs Masters of Ceremonies), getting the crowd hyped and keep them dancing. He did a ton of call and response to create a constant interaction with the crowd, I say hip you say hop- hip HOP, hip HOP and aaaaaaaaayo AIGHT. These are the shows I like the best- when artists include the crowd in every aspect of the show. Fresh did this with the skill that only an old school MC could provide or one that enjoys and has experienced the early days of hip-hop.

Doug E. Fresh Beatbox Routine

My favorite part of the show has to be the 3:45 beatbox routine that we were all privileged to watch. The other favorite part was when he talked about growing up with an actual TV, without a remote, and two antennas but, one was always broken so you had to use foil to get anything. Then, he went through his favorite programming- going from Good Times to Cheers with the audience singing and dancing along to the themes. The OTHER favorite part was all of the call and response and how you felt like you were smack dab in the middle of a house party at Doug E. Fresh's house in the 80's.

Doug E. Fresh: The Show

Performer: Doug E. Fresh
Location: Yoshi's San Francisco
Date: 3/31/11
Photos of the show: Check out HipHop.com's Flickr page for some great photos
Recommend? Most definitely, this was one of the best shows I've been to!

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April 22, 2011
I love Yoshi's! Only been to the Oakland one though, have yet to go to the SF one, but I'm looking forward to it, especially if this have fresh acts like these ;)
April 22, 2011
Definitely! I might be going tomorrow for dinner and Lyrics Born with a full band doing a tribute to Curtis Mayfield and James Brown OR next week, they'll have Goapele! If you are down, you are more than welcome to join us :)
April 10, 2011
Nice one, Sam! I told yah I am so behind with these things....
April 10, 2011
Thanks, Woo! Next time Nando and I will bring you along ;p
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Samantha ()
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I'm a human jukebox that is constantly changing my station depending on my mood!   Feel free to share your passion with me in my communities: Pass the Remote!, Hip Hop Culture, Wedding Planning … more
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About this musician


The first human beatbox in the rap world, and still the best of all time, Doug E. Fresh amazed audiences with his note-perfect imitations of drum machines, effects, and often large samples of hip-hop classics. Fresh was born Doug E. Davis in Barbados, and his first appearance came in 1983 on a single for Spotlight called "Pass the Budda," with Spoonie Gee and DJ Spivey. His introduction to most hip-hop fans, though, came one year later with his astonishing performance in Beat Street behind the Treacherous Three. His first solo features also came in 1984, with "Just Having Fun," waxed for Enjoy, and "Original Human Beatbox" for Vinentertainment.

By 1985, Fresh was one of the biggest names in rap music, and his first single for Reality, "The Show/La Di Da Di," became a hip-hop classic. It was recorded with his Get Fresh Crew, including MC Ricky D (only later to gain fame as Slick Rick), along with Barry Bee and Chill Will. His first LP, 1987's Oh, My God!, featured most of his showpieces, like "Play This Only at Night" and "All the Way to Heaven," along with nods to reggae and even gospel. His second album, 1988's The World's Greatest Entertainer, broke into the Billboard charts thanks to another hot single, "Keep Risin' to the Top," but Slick Rick had already broken from the pack and his LP of the same year, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, did much better than Doug E. Fresh. Fresh took a...
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