Darren Robinson (rapper)
Robinson in Venice Beach circa 1985
|Born||June 10, 1967|
Manning, South Carolina, U.S.
|Died||December 10, 1995 (aged 28)|
Rosedale, Queens, New York U.S.
|Associated acts||The Fat Boys Queen Pen|
Darren Robinson (June 10, 1967 – December 10, 1995), also known as Big Buff, Buff Love, Buffy, The Human Beat Box, and DJ Doctor Nice (among other aliases), was a member of the 1980s hip hop group the Fat Boys. He, along with Doug E. Fresh and others, were pioneers of beatboxing, a form of vocal percussion used in many rap groups throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Buffy and the group were featured in the 1985 movie Krush Groove, appearing under the name Disco Three at the start before acquiring the name the Fat Boys near the end. They went on to win the talent contest after being ridiculed on previous occasions. The film, based on the early days of record label Def Jam, also featured Blair Underwood as Russell Simmons (named Russell Walker in the movie), and record producer Rick Rubin, along with Run DMC, Sheila E., Beastie Boys, Kurtis Blow, and a young LL Cool J.
As the Fat Boys' fame declined, Robinson found himself embroiled in a scandal in 1990 when he was accused of filming a 14-year-old girl while she was sexually abused in August 1990 at a suburban Philadelphia party. Robinson was fined $10,000.
Although perfect for the group's image, Darren's weight eventually contributed to his death. He had recently been diagnosed with lymphedema, or fluid buildup. He died of a heart attack on December 10, 1995, weighing 450 lb (204 kg) at the time. He had been battling the flu, according to his older brother, Curt, who was also his manager. "He was doing one of his songs, and at the end he got off the couch and was climbing on a studio chair when he fell," Robinson said. "I tried to give him mouth to mouth, but he just couldn't make it." Paramedics were called to Robinson's home in Rosedale, New York, at 3 a.m., but were also unable to revive the rapper.
Curt said Darren had been trying to lose weight and was working on a Fat Boys reunion album.
- Guzman, Rafer. "Hip hop's building blocks" Archived 2012-10-22 at the Wayback Machine, Baltimore Sun, 10 October 2004.
- "Rapper Faces Charges of Sexual Abuse", Los Angeles Times, 7 December 1990.
- Siemaszko, Corky. "'Fat Boy' Rapper, 28, Dies At Queens Home", New York Daily News, 11 December 1995.
- Darren Robinson, member of Fat Boys rap group, dies at age 28" (Obituary), Jet, 8 January 1996.