We wish the late Roger Troutman a very happy birthday!
Let’s get one thing straight before we proceed – a Talkbox is NOT the same as Autotune. The former is awesome, the latter is overused and contributes to 99% of all T-Pain sales. One of the most well known “Talkboxers” was a man named Roger Troutman, lead singer of band Zapp and a major influence on West Coast hip hop and the G-funk era. For those who don’t know what a talkbox is, it’s a “device that is connected to an instrument (frequently a keyboard) to create different vocal effects”. In the video above, taken from an interview on Video Soul back in 1987, Roger shows how he used one and where it came from. He had his own custom-made – an Electro Harmonix “Golden Throat” – usually connected to a Yamaha DX100 FM synthesizer, top kit back in the 80s. You may also remember him for singing the chorus on Tupac’s classic hit California Love. Tragically, Roger died in 1999 while in surgery for gunshot wounds. He will always be remembered for his infectious funk hits and that dope talkbox, so peep the videos below and make it funky!
Sidenote: How fly is that gold outfit?