Hawaii Beatbox History and Legacy
Early to Mid 1980s
In year 1982, emcee and beatboxer Doug E. Fresh became the first person in the world to coin the term "human beatbox" and on Sunday, November 21 that same year Hawaii Beatbox community, workshop and event founder is born. Early 1980s Hawaii Beatbox pioneers included Radical Rob Onekea, Gizmo also known as ACE of Princes of Percussion and Re-Run of TMT. Human beatbox, a term that has origins in hip hop culture and history, broken down can be translated as a human drum machine and by definition is a person who vocally emulates a drum kit, percussion instrument, 808 drum machine or a 909 drum machine, etc. In the mid 1980s, Jason Tom, at the age of around four to six years, recorded himself on an audio cassette tape scat singing, beatboxing and sang vocals simultaneously at the same time on a one-take a cappella recording interpretation of Michael Jackson's "Bad" song.
Early Millennium (2003)
On October 25, 2003, at the age of 20, Jason Tom of Hawaii Beatbox caught the Showtime at the Apollo televised beatbox performance of Elaine Chao and that sparked an interest for him to emerge into the performing arts and music scene.
Mid Millennium (2006 and 2008) | Central Middle School | Word of Life Academy (WOLA)
On March 13, 2006, "Beatbox Lobby" was released with over 10,000 plus views and it is the first known Hawaii Beatbox video uploaded on YouTube. On July 7, 2006, Hawaii Beatbox made its debut overseas in Inner Mongolia. On October 20, 2006, Hawaii Beatbox taught its first workshop at Central Middle School's after school program. On January 25, 2008, Hawaii Beatbox made its debut at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza for the Chinese New Year Festival with the United Chinese Coalition (UCC) and performed an original beatbox interpretation of a well known Cantonese Chinese lullaby, "有隻雀仔跌落水 (有只雀仔跌落水)," with a London Bridges Falling Down melody. A second Hawaii Beatbox workshop took place on October 27, 2008 at Word of Life Academy (WOLA) that is known today as Kidz Life. Hawaii Beatbox and jasontom.com sponsored a 2008 China Beatbox Tour.
Late Millennium (2009) | Music With A Message | Diverse Art Center (DAC)
On November 13, 2009, Jason Tom of Hawaii Beatbox joined the roster on the Music With A Message tour starting with Pearl City High School for the Not-On-Tobacco message sponsored by the American Lung Association in Hawaii with Kutmaster Spaz, Miss America Pageant 2nd runner up Jalee Fruselier (Miss North Shore then before being crowned Miss Hawaii), the 808 Breakers, and Shayla Kaai. Then from January through April 2010, Hawaii Beatbox taught workshops three days per week at the Diverse Art Center (DAC). Notable students included Skizzo (formerly known as Flex, Voltage and Schizo), Reeses Pieces, Kiwiinopolis also known as Oath, Ryand, Taiki, and the youngest Pele. Jason Tom of Hawaii Beatbox then became one of the first beatboxers in the world to present on a TEDx Talk conference platform. That TEDx Talk was held at the Hawaii Convention Center emceed by Angela Keen and organized by L.P. "Neenz" Faleafine, Christine Lu and Traci Toguchi.
International Human Beatbox Convention (Boxcon) | American Beatbox Championships | American Beatboxer
On July 20, 2010, Hawaii Beatbox with Freelance and Mighty 4 launched the "On the Beat" fashion series of shirts that would eventually be featured on the Hawaii 5-0 hit show, music videos by Talk to You Music's Jeffrey James and Pimpbot. Hawaii Beatbox represented the Aloha State with a performance at the 2010 American Beatbox Championships and the 2010 International Human Beatbox Convention (Boxcon) in New York City organized by the World Beatbox Association (WBA) and Humanbeatbox.com. These two beatbox events events are documented on the award-winning "American Beatboxer" film that featured the Godfather of Noyze Rahzel of the Legendary Roots Crew, Jason Tom of Hawaii Beatbox, Hobbit, Ezra, LOS, Adam Matta, Masai Electro, KrNfx, and others.
The Human Beatbox Academy (2011-current)
On July 2011, Hawaii Beatbox launched its first studio curriculum and school known as the Human Beatbox Academy located at Downtown Honolulu's Arts Districts' Chinatown Artists Lofts that partnered with the ArtSmith that is now known as the Creative (headquarters of YouthSpeaks Hawaii). Hawaii Beatbox brought in Jason Tom and assistant teacher Biggie Gz to build and develop the a mobile beatbox curriculum. Students ranged from ages 4 through 40 something, though the students mainly consisted of Hawaii's children and youth. Students included Mighty Noa, Eli So Fly, Madd Rabbit, Reeses Pieces, the Maylene, Andrew and Nicholas family group, and the Chase, Tinkerbell and Chief family group.
TEDx Talks | Fresh Cafe | Hawaii Slam
Then in August 2011, Hawaii Beatbox formed Human Beatbox Academy's first beatbox crew that consisted of Jason Tom, Biggie Gz and Wiz Kalika. Beatboxers Boseph and Ted de Oliveira also collaborated with this Hawaii Beatbox Crew. On November 1, 2011, Jason Tom of Hawaii Beatbox presented at a TEDx Talks conference at the Cupola Theatre of the Honolulu Design Center headlined by Jake Shimabukuro, Kealoha Wong, and more. On November 4, 2011 Jason Tom competed, won first place and advanced to compete for Hawaii Slam's 2012 First Thursdays Grand Slam Finals, the largest poetry slam in the world, at Fresh Cafe Kakaako. On December 2, 2011, he won first place at Hawaii Slam's First Thursdays "No Rules" Poetry Slam and caught the attention of Miss Kauai and Miss Garden Isle Liane Ancajas.
In 2012, the Human Beatbox Academy closed its doors in Downtown Honolulu's Arts District's Chinatown Artist Lofts and from January through May 2013 it transferred over to an after school program in Waikiki. From January through August 2014 the Human Beatbox Academy taught beatbox classes at Diverse Art Center in Kakaako and for the month of September 2014 it moved temporarily to Housing Project 360. On March 27, 2014 Hawaii Beatbox hosted the 2014 Hawaii Beatbox Battle at Art And Flea's Boom Bap 90's Hip Hop Celebration Kakaako event that featured the debut of students Joe Lewis, Rampage and Kayden. The competition featured Klimaxe (former student), Rebeatz, Manny and Eli So Fly. Hawaii Beatbox furthered bred and trained Yogibeatz, Bodhi and Kaimana at the remainder of 2014. Hawaii Beatbox also hosted the First Inaugural Hawaii Beatbox Jam at Branch Studios Hawaii with Diverse Art Center that introduced Rad FX, Diamond also known as Hammah and Sayber to the community.