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Album Review

In an effort to bring the ol' school sound back in full effect, MC/human beatbox king Doug E. Fresh returned in the mid-'90s with a comeback album that called for a return to the traditions that originally made hip-hop great. Classic funk breakbeats, party-over-here vocals, catchy call-and-response choruses that get the crowd involved, and that inimitable Doug E. Fresh beatbox: it's all there on Play, one of the best party-friendly rap records since Run found religion. With the exception of a brief but glaring misstep on "Freak It Out!," a misogynistic rap featuring Luke, Play is a welcome flashback to the days when guns, drugs, sex and violence were not the genre's primary lyrical focus. For the most part, Doug E. and his new crew prove you can be positive and original, yet still have slammin' beats that will appeal to the modern hip-hop crowd.


Born: September 17, 1966 in Barbados

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The first human beatbox in the rap world, and still the best of all time, Doug E. Fresh amazed audiences with his note-perfect imitations of drum machines, effects, and often large samples of hip-hop classics. Fresh was born Doug E. Davis in Barbados, and his first appearance came in 1983 on a single for Spotlight called "Pass the Budda," with Spoonie Gee and DJ Spivey. His introduction to most hip-hop fans, though, came one year later with his astonishing performance in Beat Street behind...
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Play, Doug E. Fresh
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