Andre Lett, aka D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik (or Divine Real Essence of Sound), grew up in Philadelphia, but made a name for himself in Atlanta, GA, as a human beatbox of phenomenal talent. In the tradition of Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, and Rahzel, the Godfather of Noize, D.R.E.S. created with his mouth sounds that emulated those of drum machines, turntables, and samplers -- the tools of hip-hop. It was a lost art, dating from an age when instantaneous, perfect home recording was a fable. But D.R.E.S. set out to prove that ability -- not technology -- was the real talent. In 2000, he won the Amateur World Beatbox Championships, where the judges included hip-hop legends like Rahzel and Grandmaster Flash. D.R.E.S. continued to take his adopted hometown of Atlanta by storm, and in early 2001 released the Have Mic...Will Travel EP on the 4 Kings label. The project was the first 100 percent beatbox album of its kind, and established D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik not only as a formidable beatboxer, but also as a talented MC. In July of 2002, 4 Kings released Have Mic...Will Travel: The Live Experience, a recording of a D.R.E.S. show from April of that year at Atlanta's Midtown Café. It showcased the rapper's studio material, while spotlighting his beatbox skills in a live setting.
Share this page