The art of human beatboxing is one of the fastest growing trends in youth culture since the birth of Hip Hop. Since its origins on the streets of New York in the 1980s, beatboxing has morphed into an incredible performance art, with beatbox artists recreating entire tracks, and producing sounds unimaginable to the untrained ear.
Traditionally, the human beatbox was the backing track to rappers on the street. In the 1980s, pioneers like Doug E Fresh and Buffy from the Fat Boys as well as Bizmarkie were the first to find fame by making sounds with their mouths. In the 1990s, Rahzel from the Roots turned it into a solo art, showcasing his astonishing ability to sing whilst simultaneously creating a beat, using no trickery or effects on his voice.
Rahzel’s relentless touring with the Roots, combined with the increasing popularity of the internet, enabled the art-form to spread internationally. It can be picked up by anybody, anywhere, without the need for any equipment, and as a result is now popular on stages, in theatres, on television and in playgrounds worldwide.
Artists like Killa Kela from the UK have progressed the artform and undoubtedly amaze onlookers whenever he performes. Following on from his success a new breed of beatboxer is emerging from the UK with the audacious talents of beatboxers like Shlomo from the Foreign Beggars Crew, or Faith SFX taking up the mantle or indeed the latest champ to be crowned Beardyman or his fellow vocal percussionist WanDan.