By Ernie Suggs, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Original Human Beat Box will team up with the Human Jukebox to provide halftime entertainment at the 24th annual Bank of America Atlanta Football Classic pitting Florida A&M University against Southern University.
For the uninitiated, that means that rap pioneer Doug E. Fresh, will headline the halftime show along with Southern’s acclaimed band.
With the hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion last November and the subsequent suspension of the school’s marching band, it became clear early on for planners that the famed Marching 100 would not be accompanying the football team to the game.
So with half-time entertainment limited to just Southern’s band, organizers went to Fresh.
Fresh rose to prominence in the early 1980s as one of rap’s first and most original super-stars. He was one of the originators of beatboxing, a form of vocal percussion which imitates drum beats and musical sounds using the mouth, tongue and voice.
Aside from his hit, “The Show,” one of Fresh’s most significant contributions to early hip-hop was his performance of the classic, “La Di Da Di.” In the song, Fresh beatboxed all of the music, while Slick Rick rapped.
He is still considered one of rappers best live performers and was the centerpiece of Jason Orr’s documentary, “FunkJazz Kafe: Diary of a Decade,” which noted that Fresh’s mid-1990s performance marked the apex of the festival’s Atlanta run.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting, unique and energetic halftime show that connects generations of fans and music and will echo long after the game is over,” said William Lamar, Atlanta Football Classic chairman and member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta in a statement.
The Atlanta Football Classic, sponsored by 100 Black Men of Atlanta, is one of the nation’s largest black college football events. This year’s game will be held on Sept. 29 at 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.
- Ernie Suggs