By: Torrence Phillips
The Fat Boys, consisting of Prince Markie Dee, Kool Rock Ski, and Buffy, were one of the most influential hip-hop groups to emerge in the early 1980s. With their larger-than-life personalities, humor-infused lyrics, and innovative approach to rap, they helped to popularize the genre and bring it into the mainstream consciousness.
Their contemporaries and peers in the early days of hip-hop include other legendary acts such as Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and The Beastie Boys. These artists all helped to shape the genre and bring it to new heights, but the Fat Boys left a unique mark on hip-hop with their lighthearted and playful style.
In their earliest days, the Fat Boys were known as the Disco Three, and Kool Rock and Prince Markie Dee gained recognition for their impressive flow over Buff’s groundbreaking beatboxing skills. In the early 1980s, they made the transition from the Disco Three to the Fat Boys, adopting a more playful and lighthearted approach to hip-hop. The name “Fat Boys” was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact they were big boys, and they embraced the moniker as a way of standing out in a genre that was still in its infancy.
Prince Markie Dee was known for his clever wordplay and storytelling ability, and he quickly established himself as one of the premier lyricists in the hip-hop community. He was responsible for writing many of the Fat Boys’ biggest hits, including “The Fat Boys Are Back,” “Human Beat Box,” “Jail House Rap,” “Can You Feel It,” and “The Twist (Yo, Twist),” to name just a few. He was also a talented producer, working on many of the group’s albums and helping to shape their sound.
Despite the group’s reputation for being comedic and lighthearted, the Fat Boys were not considered a novelty act by the hip-hop community. Despite their playful and lighthearted approach to rap, they were taken seriously by audiences and other artists in the genre. Their music was well-received and their influence on hip-hop was undeniable. They helped to popularize the style and bring it into the mainstream consciousness, and their innovative approach to rap and embrace of the hip-hop lifestyle further solidified their place in hip-hop history.
After the Fat Boys disbanded in the late 1990s, Prince Markie Dee continued to work in the music industry, both as a solo artist and as a producer. He released several solo albums, including “Free” in 1991 and “Love Daddy” in 1994. He also continued to work as a radio personality, most notably on Hot 105 FM, where he was a popular voice on the radio waves.
As a producer, Prince Markie Dee worked with some of the biggest names in hip-hop and R&B, including Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., and Mariah Carey, among others. He was known for his ability to blend different genres of music and bring a unique, soulful sound to the tracks he produced. He also continued to work with his former Fat Boys bandmates, and the group released several reunion albums throughout the years.
Tragically, Prince Markie Dee passed away in February of 2021, leaving behind a legacy that continues to endure. Despite his untimely death, his impact on hip-hop and the music industry as a whole remains undeniable. He was a talented rapper, producer, and radio personality, and his contributions to the Fat Boys and the hip-hop genre as a whole will always be remembered and celebrated.
Post Fat Boys, Prince Markie D gained hip hop attention as a producer on Mary J Blige’s debut album and as a writer of Real Love, forever cemented his name in hip hop/r&b lore. He also produced and wrote “If You Had My Love” by Jennifer Lopez, and “I Need to Be in Love” by Mariah Carey. Some of his notable post-Fat Boys productions include “Let the Beat Hit ‘Em” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, “Jump” by Kriss Kross, and “What’cha Gonna Do with My Lovin'” by Stephanie Mills.
Kool Rock Ski also continued to release music as a solo artist and collaborated with various artists in the industry. He produced and wrote songs for artists like Salt-N-Pepa, Ice-T, and LL Cool J. Some of his notable post-Fat Boys productions include “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa, “I’m Your Pusher” by Ice-T, and “I Need Love” by LL Cool J.
Four months ago, Kool Rock Ski shares some of his institutional knowledge on Sway Universe.