Friday, 10 September 2010

My favourite beatbox videos

It's a question I anticipate whenever I am interviewed, and something I get asked more than you'd believe.

"What's your favourite beatbox video?"

I'm asked this almost as often as I'm asked the question "who is your favourite beatboxer?" and it's one I'm always a little hesitant to answer. This is because I don't actually listen to beatbox anywhere near as much as I used to, as I find this can have a rather detrimental effect on my originality. It's also rather demoralising to spend some time working on, say, a song cover, only to discover somebody got there first.

That's not to say I don't have favourite videos because I do (otherwise this would be a rather short blog post) and I'm going to list my five favourite clips here, in no particular order, along with a reason.

So, drum roll please!

THAT video of Skiller



There are few videos nowadays that make my jaw hit the floor, but this one does it every time. It's not just the speed - although, I'm sure you'll understand, it's certainly the most striking thing about this clip - but the clarity and rhythm that Skiller shows in this clip. His timing is insane and it all flows incredibly well. Finally, the drum and bass at the end is absolutely ridiculous and unlike anything I've heard before or since this video.

Sly the Mic Buddha vs. Qbert



Another video that still blows me away. Again, the speed has a lot to do with this, but there's the crazy levels of realism in Sly's scratching here that are simply impossible to ignore. The first time I heard this I wasn't watching the video, just playing random videos while I was gaming, and I genuinely thought this was two DJs battling. The last couple of rounds are the finest examples of vocal scratching I can think of.

Kitchen Diaries



Is there anybody who hasn't seen this? It is far from the best beatboxing you'll hear from Beardyman but it's extremely creative and put together very well. Plus Beardyman rocks a dress rather well.

Thinking About Your Body by Bobby McFerrin

Embedding disabled, so I'm afraid you'll have to click to watch it. I know, in this day and age as well. What are we, cavemen? Madness.

Bobby McFerrin is a musician who I could listen to for days on end and never get tired of. His live shows are fantastic, and this video shows why. While it is argued that he isn't really beatboxing he is certainly utilising aspects of vocal percussion and multi-vocalism. This song is one of my favourites by him, and well worth a watch.

"All mouth, and trousers!"



Might as well answer the question regarding my favourite beatboxer, eh? It is Shlomo, and this video is the reason why. See, way back when I first heard beatboxing, I only heard people like Rahzel and Kenny Muhammad. Shlomo was the first white, English, and slightly geeky looking beatboxer I saw, and I pretty much said to myself "if he can do it so can I!" I watched this video dozens of times in the space of a couple of days, then set on the journey that took me to where I am now (beatboxing, that is, not sat in my front room blogging - that'd be an anticlimax to any journey).

So, there we have it. My favourite beatbox videos laid out for you. Of course, it's far from an exhaustive list, and no doubt as soon as I hit "post" I'm going to think of twenty more that I've forgotten to mention, but I'd rather not inundate you with videos.

Feel free to share your own personal favourites!

Peace, love, and cross-dressers

-FT

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