Doug E. Fresh is known the world over for his innovations in hip-hop, particularly the Beatbox art form, but one thing he is just as passionate about is DJing. As the official ambassador for McDonald’s recent “Flavor Battle” DJ competition, the Harlem native and founder of the Get Fresh Crew got to evaluate some mix masters up close.
“I just appreciate the fact they got some real DJs and they got real cats that’s gonna go up there and do they thing. It keeps the art form alive,” he told TheUrbandaily.com. “It’s one of the five elements of Hip-Hop. So based on that, I think McDonald’s did a great thing by really stepping up and making sure that the flavor battle is set up. And I appreciate them wanting me to host it because I’mma take it all the way. It’s gonna be crazy.”
Lending his face to the DJ competition was a no brainer for Doug, considering his own history with DJs. His group The Get Fresh Crew was anchored by two DJs, Chill Will and Barry B, a first in hip-hop according to Doug.
“Barry B and Chill Will are the first two DJs ever in Hip-Hop to DJ at the same time,” he says matter-of-factly. “Like before the X-ecutioners, before any DJ crew, Barry B and Chill Will were the only two DJs that were DJ’ing at the the same time. We, as a group, collectively created this brand of us being able to rock at the same time.”
Before TGFC went on to make history with classics like “The Show” and “La Di Da Di” DJ Barry B was down with his crew called “The Devastating 3” and Doug was down with Chill Will. Will had been working with an MC who ended up going to college. With the popularity of the Beatbox growing Doug had the idea to bring all three of them together to rock a crowd.
“So at that point were trying to figure how are we gonna make this thing work,” he remembers. “And I said, you know what we’re gonna do? We gonna put together a show, and I’m gonna be the only guy that has two DJs together and DJs at the same time and when they DJ at the same time it’s gonna be incredible because we’ll be on 3 records. You have 4 turntables, so when you playing one, your DJ is getting another one ready. But imagine you getting one ready and you have two in the chamber. So your thoughts and what you’re capable of doing is moving way faster than the average situation. So it was a fascinating plan that I came up with and it worked out very well.”
The idea began to spread as artists like LL Cool J began using two DJs (Cut Creator and Bobcat) and crews began to use more than one DJ, but Doug insists that The Get Fresh Crew were the first.
“The blueprint was created by us and the way I performed,” he says. “So now here we are in 2012, and DJ’ing is still going on, it’s still a great art form. It’s just fascinating to me to see how we grew, we grew different. Like it had nothing to do with paper, it was just about skills. Now it’s about paper, which is cool I ain’t mad at that but skills is what created the paper.”
Doug is happy with where hip-hop has gone and was recently embraced by the younger generation when his signature head swipe was incorporated into the popular dance “Teach Me How To Dougie.”
“I felt like it was equivalent to a kid doing the James Brown or Michael Jackson dance or something,” he says of Cali Swag District’s song and dance. “This is the first time in history, in Hip-Hop, a rap artist didn’t make the dance himself, like make a song about the dance himself. This was people making the dance about you. Taking your dance and doing it about you. That ain’t never been done before. This is another level. It was blessing and I appreciated it. It Feels good that people know you created something and it wasn’t for money, it was for the love of Hip-Hop.”
Check out Doug E. Fresh busting his signature movie in the video to “Summertime”