The beatbox scene is young and it’s growing faster than ever
But not everyone understands what beatbox means to us. When I tell people that I've dedicated my life to beatbox, often times I'm greeted with intrigue but also with a slightly confused tilt of the head. I wrote this article in 2015 with We Talk Beatbox, and I'd like to remind ourselves about what beatbox means to us and why it's so important.
1. Beatbox is a global phenomenon
Duffy, Doug E Fresh, and Biz Markie are all names you probably have heard of before. With heavy roots in New York City hiphop culture from the 1980's, the art form has progressed immensely worldwide -- and we argue today that beatbox is not about hiphop - it's about music.
The capabilities of the human voice and body are yet to be fully understood and as we see more beatboxers continuing to invent new sounds and push the limits, we start to gain perspective on the incredible capabilities that we all possess.
Beatboxing is special because it's with you all the time - you can beatbox with anyone and anywhere, which is why it has grown to be a global phenomenon. Whether we're teaching beatbox in schools or battling each other online, the community continues to flourish and will continue to grow larger and larger.
2. Beatbox is our form of communication
From the outside, beatboxing is just about making sounds, beats, and rhythms only using the mouth, but it has become a lot more than that. When we dig deeper, beatboxing is an art form of self-expression that pulls people from all over the world together. It is a universal language for an ever-growing and incredibly diverse community of artists who constantly develop new styles and fresh techniques. It is clear that crafting beats with the mouth is not just a gimmick or a hobby, but a lifestyle, culture and a true art form.
3. We are a family
Battles are hard-fought and can get extremely heated on stage understandably, but at the end of the day, the community is incredibly united and supportive. BeeLow, founder of Beatbox Battle TV, along with Tyte and many other leaders of the community, stand as great influencers of modern-day beatbox. They haven't received much appreciation and praise for their incredible work in the community, but should be acknowledged for instilling these "family" values to the scene.
Although many of our events now are circled around battling (which we are working to change), they swiftly shut down any rare "boos" or negativity that has been communicated from the very beginning. We can also thank BeeLow for coining the term “beatbox family.”
At the end of the day, beatboxing is about communication, crafting new techniques, and ultimately sharing a passion for musical expression. The community is incredibly young and needs to continue to stay this way for the scene to move forward.
4. Not every beatboxer is comparable
Every beatboxer brings their own unique styles to the table. Innovative techniques and creative sounds are often shared and borrowed from, which have been the catalysts for the amazing range of sounds that beatboxers make today. Without influencing each other and without community sharing, beatbox would be stagnant or have made very little progress.
It’s painful when beatboxers are criticized for “not being better than Tom Thum” or for copying “Alem’s technicality.” They both comfortably rank as the top beatboxers in the world, but ability is not always directly comparable. We may have difference in tastes, but the true value of beatbox comes from the expression of music and emotion.
Beatboxing requires incredible talent, creativity, and hours of grueling practice and hard work.
Beatboxers are unique in their own right and deserve to be appreciated for their individual expression of the art.
What do you think? Do you think we're heading in the right direction? We want to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for reading!