Darren Robinson (rapper)

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Darren Robinson
Robinson in Venice Beach circa 1985
Background information
Born June 10, 1967
Died December 10, 1995(1995-12-10) (aged 28)
Rosedale, Queens, New York United States

Darren Robinson (June 10, 1967 – December 10, 1995), also known as Buffy, The Human Beat Box, and DJ Doctor Nice (among other aliases), was a member of the 1980s rap group The Fat Boys. He, along with Doug E. Fresh and others, were pioneers of beatboxing,[1] a form of vocal percussion used in many rap groups throughout the 1980s and 1990s.


Buffy and the group were featured in the 1985 movie Krush Groove, appearing under the name Disco Three at the start before acquiring the name The Fat Boys near the end. They went on to win the talent contest after being ridiculed on previous occasions. The movie, based on the early days of record label Def Jam also featured Blair Underwood as Russell Simmons (named Russell Walker in the movie), and record producer Rick Rubin along with Run DMC, Sheila E., Beastie Boys and Kurtis Blow, and a young LL Cool J.

As the Fat Boys' fame declined Robinson found himself embroiled in scandal in 1990 when he was accused of filming a roadie having sex with a 14-year-old girl in August 1990 at a suburban Philadelphia party.[2] Robinson was fined $10,000.[3]


Although perfect for the group's image, Darren's weight eventually contributed to his death. He had recently been diagnosed with lymphedema, or fluid buildup.[4] He died of a heart attack, weighing 450 lb (204 kg) at the time. He had been battling the flu, according to his older[2] brother, Curt, who was also his manager[3] and was also involved in the August 1990 event.[2] "He was doing one of his songs, and at the end of the session he got off the couch and was climbing on a studio chair when he fell and lost his wind," Curt Robinson said.[3] "I tried to give him mouth to mouth, but he just couldn't make it."[3] Paramedics were called to Robinson's home in Rosedale, New York at 3 a.m., but were also unable to revive the rapper.[3]

Curt Robinson said Darren Robinson had been trying to lose weight and was working on a Fat Boys reunion album.[3]


  1. Guzman, Rafer. "Hip hop's building blocks", Baltimore Sun, 10 October 2004.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Rapper Faces Charges of Sexual Abuse", Los Angeles Times, 7 December 1990.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Siemaszko, Corky. "'Fat Boy' Rapper, 28, Dies At Queens Home", New York Daily News, 11 December 1995.
  4. Darren Robinson, member of Fat Boys rap group, dies at age 28" (Obituary), Jet, 8 January 1996.

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