Darren Robinson

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Darren Robinson (June 10, 1967 – December 10, 1995), also known as Big Buff, Buff Love, Buffy, The Human Beat Box, and DJ Doctor Nice, was a rapper, beatboxer, and actor, who was also member of the 1980s hip hop group The Fat Boys. He was the first person to perform the art of beatboxing and also call himself "human beat box".

Darren Robinson's family former home on Schenk Avenue (2023)

Life and career[Bearbeiten]

Early life[Bearbeiten]

Darren Robinson was born in Manning, Clarendon County, South Carolina, on June 10, 1967. He was the third child of John and Ellaveen Robinson (*November 14, 1942) and had three siblings, his older brother Curtis, his sister Barbara and his younger sister Renee.[1]

P.S. 190 Sheffield (Elementary School) on 590 Sheffield Avenue (2023)

When Robinson was still young his family moved to Sheffiled Avenue in New Lots, Brooklyn, where he also attended elementary school P.S. 190 Sheffield from 1973 to 1978.

In 1978 Robinson went to J.H.S. 166 George Gershwin on Van Sinclen Avenue until 1981.

In spring of 1981 his family moved to the same block on Schenck Avenue where his later band members Kool Rock Ski and Prince Markie Dee already lived with their families.

George Gershwin Junior High School on 800 Van Siclen Avenue, which was later changed into Van Siclen Community Middle School

In 1981 Robinson attended Thomas Jefferson High School and along with Wimbley he joined the High School football team, but when Wimbley quit he also decided to focus on music.


When they became successful with their music they received private tutoring to get their diploma in favour of their musical career.

Thomas Jefferson High School on 400 Granville Payne Avenue (2023)

At the age of 20 Robinson's girl friend Lynise Walters (*September 24, 1972) known as Queen Pen gave birth to their son Quinton, who later became a rapper himself known as Q NHannaz.

In 1985 Robinson and his parents moved to Rosedale, Queens.

Robinson died in Rosedale, Queens County, New York on December 10, 1995 and was burried on the Amityville cemetary in Suffolk County (Long Island), 55 Harrison Ave, Amityville, NY 11701. Robinson's brother and later manager Curtis died in 2018.

Musical career[Bearbeiten]

In spring of 1981, just one day after his family had moved to Schenk Avenue, Robinson met Damon Wimbley, who was playing football with a friend next to Wimbley's house.

About a year later Robinson and Wimbley had their first public performance in front of a bigger audience at the Thomas Jefferson High School in a talent show.

His group Disco 3 won a Tin Pan Apple rap contest in 1983 and went on a promotional tour for their first record.

Origin of beatboxing[Bearbeiten]

According to his own statement in the TV show Midday hosted by Bill Boggs Robinson explained that in 1975 he wanted a drumset, but could not afford one. So he just started to listen to records to trace his beats off them.


Whereas in The Morning Show hosted by Regis Philbin and Cyndy Garvey, which was aired on ABC7 in 1984, Robinson said that he started seven years ago.

According to Darren's brother Curtis the New York City Blackout of 1977 was crucial for the genesis of beatboxing. Curtis had purchased a radio cassette recorder (model: Realistic SCR-10) from RadioShack at Pennsylvania Avenue before he went to summer camp out of town. He lent this boombox – or beatbox as it was also called – to his younger brother Darren under the condition of not taking it off the porch. But on July 13th Darren ignored his brother's request and took the radio and went around the corner to impress some girls from the neighborhood. At about 9:37 p.m. all lights went out all over Brooklyn due to the big Blackout and Darren was so scared that he dropped the radio and ran home. When his brother came back from summer camp, he asked him where his radio was. Darren was very nervous and anxious to tell the truth. But right after telling his brother, he offered him to play any song he would like to hear by just imitating with his mouth and then he started beatboxing.

Beatbox style[Bearbeiten]

Buffy breathing, Buffy clapping


Robinson invented beatboxing and added this art form as a fifth element to hip hop culture, which originally consisted of graffiti, DJing, breakdancing and rapping.

Nowadays Beatboxing is practiced and known in most countries still mesmerizing audiences all over the world.

Most a cappella groups that perform popsongs have a beatboxer to provide the rhythms.