The Fat Boys are a successful American hip hop trio from Brooklyn, New York City, that emerged in the early 1980s. Briefly, the group was known originally as the Disco 3.
Mark Morales a.k.a. "Prince Markie Dee" (born February 19, 1968),
Damon Wimbley a.k.a. "Kool Rock-Ski" (born November 4, 1966),
Darren Robinson a.k.a. "Buff Love" a.k.a. "The Human Beat Box" (June 10, 1967 - December 10, 1995),
Big Buff Love, the Human Beatbox, was a pioneer in beatboxing (using his mouth to create hip hop percussion sounds). He and another contemporary, Doug E. Fresh, popularized beatboxing, inspiring other artists to innovate, including Biz Markie and, later, others such as Rahzel. Attempting to capitalize on the appearance-oriented name of the Fat Boys, another hip hop group dubbed itself the Skinny Boys, and yet another the Fat Girls. The popularity of those groups was mild in comparison, however.
The group's 1984 self-titled debut, The Fat Boys, is considered by many to be an early hip hop classic, with artists like Boogie Down Productions and Redman, among others, making references to the album. For its 1987 album, Crushin', the Fat Boys made a cover version of The Surfaris' hit "Wipe Out" with The Beach Boys singing back-up vocals. The single made it to #12 on the Billboard chart, and #10 on the corresponding R&B listing. The Fat Boys also recorded a version of "The Twist" with Chubby Checker, who performed it originally in 1960.
Manager Charlie Stettler was a Swiss National who had embraced hip-hop culture. In 1983, putting the two together he contacted the nascent Swatch company and offered the talents of his group. The American office marketing group, headed by Steven Rechtschaffner and Nancy Kadner, were starting to do some offbeat, interesting campaigns, and agreed to star the Fat Boys in one of MTV's earliest commercials. Stettler, knowing the video channel was playing no hip-hop, readily agreed. Even with no fee he sensed the exposure would catapult his trio into youth's mainstream. The company returned to The Fat Boys for a 1985 Christmas commercial, created by former MTV creative heads Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert.
Capitalizing on their good-humored personalities, the trio starred in the 1985 Run-D.M.C. feature film Krush Groove and in the feature film Disorderlies (1987), which featured Ralph Bellamy as a millionaire invalid who receives bumbling care by his good-natured orderlies (played by the Fat Boys), with a cameo by manager Stettler. The group was later approached to record the theme song for A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), called "Are You Ready for Freddy," which featured Robert Englund performing as Freddy Krueger.
The group's popularity ballooned by the 1990s. For example, Jay-Z laments the breakup of the Fat Boys in his song the "Heart of the City." Prince Markie Dee left the group to pursue solo interests, which included producing many early tracks for Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige which included her debut single, "Real Love." In 1991, the remaining two members, Kool Rock Ski and Buff Love, carried on as a duo and released Mack Daddy (1991), but shortly thereafter, the group disbanded (until 2008).
On December 10, 1995, Buff Love died of a heart attack in Rosedale, Queens, New York. He was 28 years old and reportedly weighed 450 lbs. Prince Markie Dee is a current radio host for WEDR 99 Jamz in Miami, Florida working weekends. Kool Rock-ski resides in New York.
The surviving members of the Fat Boys launched OriginalFatBoys.com its first official homepage on November 5, 2008.
According to its official website, the Fat Boys have recently recorded its first track "Fat Boys Unite" in nearly two decades and have plans of doing a reality TV show in search of a new member.
In March 2009, Kool Rock-ski announced the launch of his official website,the Official Kool Rock website. His first solo project, "Party Time" (EP) was released on April 14, 2009.
On October 18, 2010, the cable network TV One's aired Unsung: The Story of The Fat Boys, and mentioned that the two surviving members have reunited, and are currently touring with Doug E. Fresh, temporarily filling in for the 'HumanBeatbox.' There has been no confirmation if he is the new third permanent member.
In August 2012, the Fat Boys were scheduled to perform at the 13th annual Gathering of the Juggalos in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois.