Change Paths (How Doug E. Fresh Invented Beatboxing)

The path you’re going down doesn’t have to be the path you finish on. Doug E. Fresh invented beatboxing. If it weren’t for his music teacher, it might never have happened.

In grade school, he wanted to learn to play the drums. He joined the school band but the teacher brushed off his request and handed him a trumpet. It was a problem. Because he really, really, really wanted to play those drums and now he was being robbed of his only chance.

What do you do when you don’t have a drum kit but you know you want to make beats? Your average kid in 1980s New York might have taken to pots and pans. But Doug E. Fresh was not your average kid. He figured out how to make the drums with his mouth.

Years later he’d give the trumpet-touting music teacher credit for putting him on the path to invent beatboxing.

Whatever path we think we’re on, doesn’t have to be, lead to, or determine exactly where we finish.

Want more Doug E. Fresh? He tells this story and more on his Questlove Supreme podcast interview. There’s so much hip-hop history here it’s incredible.

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