Fat Boys (album)

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Fat Boys
Fatboyscover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 29, 1984
GenreHip hop
Length39:10
LabelSutra
Producer
The Fat Boys chronology
Fat Boys
(1984)
The Fat Boys Are Back
(1985)

Fat Boys is the self-titled first studio album by hip hop group The Fat Boys on May 29, 1984 by Sutra Records. Album was produced by rap legend Kurtis Blow.[1] LP is dedicated to the memory of Rebecca Wimbely and William (Divine) Santos. Album picked at number 48 on the US Billboard 200, and number 6 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 6, 1985.[2]

The album features two the Billboard singles: "Jail House Rap" and "Can You Feel It?". The songs "Don't You Dog Me" and "Fat Boys" were performed in the movie Krush Groove during the Disco Fever scene.[3] "Jail House Rap" and "Fat Boys" were performed in the episode of the Soul Train, aired on January 5, 1985.[4]

On November 23, 2012, the album was reissued in a limited-edition CD and vinyl package. The album is housed in a pizza box, with the album itself being a picture disc of pizza, with a special book and bonus material (downloadable for the vinyl version).[5] XXL revisiting the Fat Boys' iconic debut album 30 years later.[6]

Background[edit]

Buff a.k.a. The Human Beat Box (Darren Robinson), Prince Markie Dee (Mark Morales) and Kool Rock-Ski (Damon Wimbley) were hip-hop's first brand, jumping out of helicopters in Swatch commercials and demolishing buffets in movies. Their manager is a Swiss-born promoter named Charlie Stettler, the owner of his label-management company Tin Pan Apple. In 1983, he put on a hip-hop talent contest at Radio City Music Hall, and the Fat Boys-then rapping as Disco 3-were the unexpected walk-on champs. "Stick 'Em" was the song they used to win the contest.[7] Stettler took the group to his native Switzerland. And though they arrived in Europe as the Disco 3, the group flew back to New York as the Fat Boys. Charlie Stettler hooked up the group with producer Kurtis Blow who gave them their signature sound.[8] Kurtis Blow enlisted Run-D.M.C. drum-machine programmer Larry Smith and bassist Davy "DMX" Reeves, both of whom were behind some of the best records of the era to work on it. "Stick 'Em" was the first thing that they recorded with Kurtis Blow. Charlie Stettler also got Swatch to sponsor 1984's Fresh Festival Tour and convinced Russell Simmons to add the Fat Boys to a line-up that included Run-D.M.C., Whodini and Newcleus.[9]

The Fat Boys released 3 singles from this album: "Jail House Rap", "Can You Feel It?" and "Fat Boys".[10] The group released 5 official music videos on the songs from this album: "Fat Boys", "Jail House Rap", "Can You Feel It?", "Stick 'Em" and "Don't You Dog Me".[11]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [12]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars [13]
Robert ChristgauA- [14]
Rate Your Music3.27/5 stars [15]
Sputnikmusic3.6/5 stars [16]

In a contemporary interview and review, Sounds described both the album and single for "Fat Boys" as "well naff. It's this sort of pointless juvenile gimmickry which is rapidly turning the hip-hop culture into a trembling jelly of silliness with its desperate appeals to the lowest criteria."[17]

In a retrospective review AllMusic stated that "Because of their comic image, some hip-hoppers dismissed the Fat Boys as a novelty act -- some, but not many." and noted that The Fat Boys were "among the best and most popular rappers of the mid-1980s. Along with Run-D.M.C., L.L. Cool J, and Whodini, the Fat Boys were the finest that hip-hop's "Second Generation" (as it was called) had to offer." The review declared it to be an "excellent debut album" which was "humorous, wildly entertaining, and unapologetically funky" and that the album was "a true hip-hop classic."

Robert Christgau gave the album A-, saying "...These prize porkers parody insatiability--long after the break of dawn (long after you're limp, Dick), they'll still be stuffing it. They won't ever be great rappers technically, though Prince Markie Dee has the poise and clarity to get close and the bass-kazoo hums and belchlike aspirations of the Human Beat Box show rhythmic instinct and sonic imagination. But their shambling, cheerful fat-boy dance is a party for kids of all ages. I love the hooks on "Fat Boys" and the barks on "Don't You Dog Me," and if "Jail House Rap" is no "Message" or "Hustler's Convention," neither is it a trivialization--at least as silly and serious as Lee Dorsey in the coal mine or Sam Cooke on the chain gang."

Track listing[edit]

Side A
  1. "Jail House Rap" – 8:30
  2. "Stick 'Em" – 4:26
  3. "Can You Feel It?" – 6:38
Side B
  1. "Fat Boys" – 6:50
  2. "The Place to Be" – 4:26
  3. "Human Beat Box" – 2:16
  4. "Don't You Dog Me" – 5:50
2012 bonus tracks
  1. "Reality"
  2. "International Love"
  3. "All You Can Eat"
  4. "Fat Boys Promo (Rap Attack)"
  5. "Fat Boys And Charlie Stettler Interview (Mr. Magic's Rap Attack - 4/20/84)"
  6. "Fat Boys Interview A (Mr. Magic's Rap Attack - 1/23/84)"
  7. "Fat Boys Interview B (Mr. Magic's Rap Attack - 1/23/84)"
  8. "Mr. Magic announcing The Disco 3 as winners at Radio City Music Hall on May 23, 1983" (hidden bonus track)

Personnel[edit]

The group[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Angie Blake - Vocals
  • Kurtis Blow - Musician, vocals
  • Don Blackman - Musician
  • Danny Harris - Musician
  • Francis Johnson - Vocals
  • Tony McLaughlin - Musician
  • David Ogrin - Musician
  • Davod Reeves - Musician
  • Larry Smith - Musician
  • Tashawn - Vocals
  • Audrew Whleeler - Vocals
  • Alyson Williams - Vocals

Technical staff[edit]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[18] 48
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[19] 6
Year Song Chart Peak position
1984 "Jail House Rap" US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks (Billboard)[20] 17
1985 "Can You Feel It?" 38

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[21] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Fat Boys: Hip-Hop's Pop Culture Ambassadors on Crushin' 1987". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  2. ^ "Billboard Magazine - June 15, 1985 - The Fat Boys celebrate the gold certification of their self-titled debut album on the set of the rap film "Krush Groove" (May, 1985)". books.google.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  3. ^ "Krush Groove (1985) - Soundtracks - IMDb". imdb.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  4. ^ "Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America's Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments (2013)". books.google.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  5. ^ "Fat Boys Disc Reissued for Record Store Day". Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  6. ^ "XXL magazine revisiting the Fat Boys' iconic debut album 30 years later (by Michael A. Gonzales) [May 29, 2014]". xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  7. ^ "When The Fat Boys Were Fly (by MICHAEL A. GONZALES) [July 12, 2012]". complex.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  8. ^ "An Oral History of the Fat Boys' "All You Can Eat" Music Video (by Ryan Joseph) [April 26, 2016]". firstwefeast.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  9. ^ "Why the Fat Boys still matter (by DAVE TOMPKINS) [JULY 11, 2012]". slate.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  10. ^ "The Fat Boys at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  11. ^ "The Fat Boys on IMDB". imdb.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  12. ^ AllMusic Review
  13. ^ Rolling Stone Review
  14. ^ Robert Christgau Review
  15. ^ Rate Your Music Review
  16. ^ Sputnikmusic Review
  17. ^ "The Fat Boys: Lean On Me". Sounds. June 29, 1985. Retrieved September 8, 2016. (Subscription required (help)).
  18. ^ "Fat Boys Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  19. ^ "Fat Boys Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "Fat Boys on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)". billboard.com. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  21. ^ "American album certifications – FAT BOYS – FAT BOYS". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]