View Full Version : Doug E. Fresh Is Still On The Beat

12-07-2007, 09:32 PM

He hasn't released a record under his own name since 1995, but Doug E. Fresh is still hip hop's go-to-guy.

This year alone, the originator of the human beat box performed on the American Idol finale, hosted David and Victoria Beckham's "Welcome to L.A." party and Usher's wedding reception. He's now working on a VH1 reality show.

The Star chatted by phone with the 41-year-old Harlem, N.Y., native, who still lives just five blocks from where he grew up, in advance of his show at Kool Haus tonight.

Q: Have you ever had any musical training?

A: I played trumpet and percussion in elementary school. Percussion gave me the ability to use my hands and with trumpet I learned how to position my lips. I love the trumpet, because it creates the announcement. A lot of records that I've done start off with trumpets. My music teacher had a jazz background, (but) hip hop was the dominant force and it drew me in. Hip hop leaned more on the drums and I was so good at memorizing percussion sounds that I would duplicate them in my mind and just let it out with my own little twist with it.

Q: Is there any challenge to what you do? How do you keep your chops in shape?

A: You've got to know how to use a microphone, where to position it to get the right sound. You learn about circular breathing, which is making the air circulate without stopping the music. It takes a lot of wind. If you catch a cold it's hard to get the kind of wind that you need to make people feel exactly what you're doing. I keep my chops up by performing a lot, but even then I still sit around and play with it to increase my level of control.

Q: I take it you're a non-smoker?

A: My smoking days is never. You have to be in good shape to do the things that I do. I walk, run, do calisthenics. I haven't eaten meat for more than 20 years. I don't drink, really, occasionally a little champagne.

Q: Two of your teenage sons have started their own rap group (Square Off). Did you try to discourage them?

A: I've been doing hip hop since I was 13 and I feel like my contribution has made a major difference in the world of hip hop. So I just think that my sons should have the same right to do that. If I tell them "No, you have to go to college or else," I would have been a hypocrite because that's not what I did.

Q: Their song "Dear Pops" is full of drama. Is it an accurate reflection of their relationship with you?

A: I think it was an accurate reflection of how they felt when they wrote the song. And I think it's going to be an accurate reflection when I write the answer to it.

I'm a very real kind of father. I got six sons (ages 2 to 20); there's not too much femininity around here. It's straight-up, hardcore, real talk. And as young men will in life, sometimes they make good choices, sometimes they make mistakes, so it's real.


12-08-2007, 01:01 PM
I liked his song Aiight that was on his last album. That song got a hard beat. I also like his classic songs The Show and Keep Rising To The Top.