3. Douglas E. Davis
Douglas E. Davis better known by the stage name Doug E. Fresh, is a Barbadian born American rapper, record producer, and beatboxer, also known as the Human Beat Box. The pioneer of 20th-century American beatboxing, Fresh is able to accurately imitate drum machines and various special effects using only his mouth, lips, gums, throat, tongue and a microphone.
Although he began his recording career as a solo artist as one of the last artists on Enjoy Records and one of the first on Vintertainment Records (the same New York-based label owned by Vincent Davis that would later make a name of Hip-Hop artist Joeski Love and bring R&B “icon” Keith Sweat to ultimate fame), it was when he and a new team of DJs known as the Get Fresh Crew (Barry Bee and Chill Will) along with a newcomer named MC Ricky D (who would later achieve fame as Slick Rick) came to fledgling New Jersey-based Hip-Hop label Danya/Reality Records the following year and recorded “The Show” (which borrowed the melody of the Inspector Gadget theme by Shuki Levy) and “La Di Da Di”, a tune that was completely voiced by MC Ricky D and backed by Doug E’s beat boxing for the entire duration of the song.
It was when both of these songs were released on a single (particularly 12″ single) that broke him (and Slick Rick) into stardom. Both “The Show” and “La-Di-Da-Di” are considered two of the all-time greatest early hip hop classics and, as such, make up one of the first and only Hip-Hop singles to have two hit songs on the same record. Fresh is a member of the Church of Scientology.
He has performed for large audiences of its adherents at the Scientology Celebrity Center’s Anniversary Gala in 2004. Doug, who is married and has 6 children, manages his sons Trip’s and Slims’ hip hop group Square Off