Zapp (band)  

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Zapp (also known as the Zapp Band or Zapp and Roger) was a soul and funk band formed in 1978 by brothers Roger Troutman, Larry Troutman, Lester Troutman, Tony Troutman and Terry "Zapp" Troutman. Known for hits such as "More Bounce to the Ounce", "Dance Floor" and "Computer Love", the group was a partial source of inspiration to West Coast hip-hop and G-funk, which came out of the hand clapped-drum beat styled funk of Zapp's records with Roger's impressive use of the talk box becoming another reason for the group's impact and its success.



Early career and rise to fame

The nucleus of Zapp circled around three of the five Troutman brothers: Lester, Larry and their younger brother Roger. The duo of Lester and Roger started several groups including Little Roger and the Vels. Larry and Tony eventually joined their brothers when their name became Roger and the Human Body, which also included youngest brother Terry.

The name change to Zapp came courtesy of Terry, whose nickname was that of "Zapp". Discovered by members of P-Funk in 1979, the funk collective's leader George Clinton signed them to his Uncle Jam Records. When that label folded the following year, the group signed with P-Funk's parent label, Warner Bros. Records, and began working on their first album courtesy of co-production from Bootsy Collins.

Released in the late summer of 1980, Zapp's seminal self-titled debut album became a platinum success peaking at the top twenty of the Billboard Top 200 thanks to the success of their leading single, the Roger composition, "More Bounce to the Ounce", which reached number two on the Hot Soul Singles chart.

Continued success

Zapp's trek to fame continued within the Troutmans, who started Troutman Enterprises shortly after the Zapp album was released. Roger, who was the leader of the group and most famous for using the talk box in his recordings, was also the band's producer, chief writer, arranger, and composer. He and older brother Larry, who served as percussionist in the band's early years and later retired from music to serve as his younger brother's manager, often collaborated on songs together. Roger and Zapp worked on both group albums and albums Roger released on his own merit. Within five years, the band scored more top ten R&B hits such as "Doo Wa Ditty", "I Can Make You Dance", "Heartbreaker", and ballads such as "Computer Love" and a cover of The Miracles' "Ooo Baby Baby". Among the songs, only one of them - 1982's "Dance Floor" - managed to hit number-one on the R&B chart while two of Roger's solo numbers - a cover of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "I Want to Be Your Man" - hit the top spot of that chart. By 1985's New Zapp IV U, the group had scored over four gold records and had become a top concert draw all around the world.

Decline and career resurgence

By the release of Roger's solo album, 1991's Bridging the Gap, success had mostly dwindled for the group though their records were now being sampled constantly by hip-hop acts. The first of which, EPMD's "You Gots to Chill" famously sampled "More Bounce..." In 1993, Zapp scored their biggest-selling album with the 2X platinum All the Greatest Hits, which included a top forty R&B hit with "Mega Medley" mixing the band's greatest hits. By 1996, Roger Troutman had regained success after he added his trademark talk box for 2Pac's comeback hit, "California Love". Roger was also featured in the remix to Sounds of Blackness' 1998 hit, "Hold On (A Change Is Coming)", which sampled "Doo Wa Ditty". Through it all, Zapp continued to find massive success as a concert draw, made due to the large part of Roger's leadership and gifted talents as a live performer.


The group became defunct after the April 25, 1999, deaths of Roger and Larry Troutman. To this day, family members can give no clear motive as to why the murder-suicide committed by Larry on his younger brother happened though they agreed that the two brothers had had a business dispute.


The band's music had been very popular among lowrider enthusiasts in the past two decades, being Chicano "Cholo" youth culture who mostly listened. Their tracks are still being used today, without remix or any alterations and are commonly danced to by pop performers. "More Bounce To The Ounce" stands out as the most used sample in Chicano rap and West Coast rap, being sampled in countless songs.


The main list of members of Zapp are featured here including those who joined the band either as additional members or touring members

Original Principal lineup

Other members

  • Bobby Glover
  • Eddie Barber
  • Jannetta Boyce
  • Jerome Derrickson
  • Sherman Fleetwood
  • Gregory Jackson
  • Michael Warren
  • Shirley Murdock
  • Dale DeGroat
  • Bart Thomas
  • Ricardo Bray
  • Bigg Robb (from the early/mid 90's onward)
  • Rhonda Stevens
  • Ray Davis
  • Roger Troutman Jr.

Present lineup

Despite the murder of band-leader Roger Troutman, Zapp still continues to tour and record to this day with Terry Troutman taking over the role as the band's frontman.
  • Terry "Zapp" Troutman: talk box, guitar, keyboard bass, frontman
  • Lester Troutman: drums
  • Dale DeGroat: keyboards, lead vocals
  • Ricardo Bray: guitar, background vocals
  • Bart "Sure 2B" Thomas: talk box, guitar, background vocals
  • Robert "BiGG RoBB" Smith: MC, background vocals
  • Gregory Jackson - lead vocals
  • Deannah Dukes-lead and background vocals


  • Zapp (1980)
  • Zapp II (1982)
  • Zapp III (1983)
  • The New Zapp IV U (1985)
  • Zapp Vibe (1989)
  • Zapp & Roger: All The Greatest Hits (1993)
  • Roger & Zapp: Greatest Hits Vol. 2 & More (1996)
  • Zapp VI: Back by Popular Demand (2002)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Zapp (band)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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