By 1980, rap was the most cutting edge musical medium in New York City, just shy of its inevitable spread from the street to the studio. The groundswell of excitement surrounding this new sound was impossible to ignore, and Jeremiah Yisrael, businessman that he was, knew it was crucial to join this burgeoning culture, whether he understood it or not. Using his Harlem health food store as a recruiting station, he stumbled onto Manny Man, Nicky Barnes, and Kenny D—a trio of teens rapping as the Fabulous 3 MCs—and locked them in just minutes into their a cappella audition.
Yisrael booked time on January 14th 1981 at Clair Krepps' Mayfair Studios. The backing band was a stripped down to just bass, keys, and drums. Someone brought a whistle and made good use of it. Handclaps were in abundance. “Rub A Dub Dub” was laid down in one take, seven and a half rambunctious minutes of disco rap that would prove to be the only document of the group’s momentary existence.
The whereabouts of the Fabulous 3 MCs remain unknown. A rumor surfaced that Manny Man was serving time upstate, but without his real name that can’t be confirmed. Similar dead ends lead away from Kenny D (for obvious reasons) and Nicky Barnes, his name likely a pseudonym used in tribute to New York’s notorious drug lord.
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