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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kool Moe Dee
Birth nameMohandas Dewese[1]
Also known asMoel Dewes
Born (1963-08-08) August 8, 1963 (age 56)[2][3]
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.[1]
Years active1978–present
Associated acts

Mohandas Dewese[1] (born August 8, 1963),[2][4] better known by his stage name Kool Moe Dee, is an American hip hop MC prominent during the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Kool Moe Dee was a member of the rap group Treacherous Three, and also one of the first rappers to earn a Grammy Award and was the first rapper to perform at the Grammys.

Early life and education

Born Mohandas Dewese in Harlem, Kool Moe Dee attended the State University of New York at Old Westbury, where he received a degree in communications in 1985.


One of Kool Moe Dee's first feats was being part of the first major rap battle in history. He lyrically attacked Busy Bee after one of his performances in 1981. He was extremely mad at Busy Bee, for talking smack about other MC's, claiming that none of them could beat him in a contest. Moe Dee used some of his rhymes from "The New Rap Language" and "Whip It." He also used a little bit of Busy Bee's style during the battle. In 1985, the Treacherous Three disbanded. In 1986, he went solo, releasing a self-titled album that ranked 83 on Billboard. After meeting a young up and coming artist at Sugar Hill records by the name of Lavaba Mallison, who would later become his manager, Kool Moe Dee left Sugar Hill records to join Lavaba Mallison, Robert "Gusto" Wells, Greg Marius and up and coming Producer Teddy Riley at the newly founded ROOFTOP records. He co-operated with the young producers Teddy Riley and Lavaba Mallison which contributed greatly to the new jack swing movement that would gain popularity in the years to follow.

Kool Moe Dee released his second album, How Ya Like Me Now which was his most successful album commercially, achieving platinum status. He then went on to release his third album, Knowledge Is King in 1989, which went gold. In 1990, he performed on Quincy Jones' album Back on the Block along with fellow rappers Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane and Ice-T. The album gained considerable critical and financial success and winning the 1991 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 1991, the release of his album Funke, Funke Wisdom signaled Kool Moe Dee's decline. Moe Dee himself has stated that this was his worst album.[5] He induced his release from Jive Records in 1992. After a two-year lay off, he released his greatest hits album which regained some of his former success and acclaim. In 1994, his album Interlude was released and failed to gain Moe Dee much of his former success of the mid '1980s. In 1993, he re-united with his fellow ex members of the Treacherous Three to release the album Old School Flava on Ichiban. His last commercial release was the single "Love Love/What You Wanna Do" which was released on Spoiled Brat Entertainment Inc. Moe Dee appeared in the MTV box office bomb Crossroads as a bartender.

Feud with LL Cool J

Kool Moe Dee conducted a long-running rivalry with fellow New York rapper LL Cool J. Along with other rappers such as MC Shan, Kool Moe Dee claimed that LL had stolen their rap styles. He also felt that LL was disrespecting rap pioneers such as Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz by proclaiming that he was "rap's new grandmaster" without paying due respect to those who came before him. He challenged LL on his platinum selling album How Ya Like Me Now on the single of the same name. He also took a shot at LL by appearing on the album cover with a jeep in the background with the wheel crushing one of LL's trademark red Kangol hats.[6] The feud persisted, with both MCs proclaiming themselves the victor.

Here are the songs of both Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J during the battle:

Kool Moe Dee: How Ya Like Me Now (1987)

LL Cool J: Jack The Ripper (1989)

Kool Moe Dee: Let's Go (1989)

LL Cool J: To Da Break of Dawn (1990) & Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)

Kool Moe Dee: Death Blow (1991)

Behind The Rhyme talk show

In 2017(?) he launched as executive producer and host of Behind The Rhyme,[7] a digital talk show series featuring an interview with a hip-hop legend or current star. The premiere episode was released in June 2020(2017?)featuring hip-hop legend and front man of Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage Chuck D. The show is executive produced by industry veterans Ann Carli and Devin DeHaven, who also directs the series.[8]


^ I Despite its title, The Greatest Hits is a studio album rather than a compilation album, and is not to be confused with Kool Moe Dee's 1993 compilation album Greatest Hits.

Awards and nominations

Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1988 Wild Wild West Best Rap Performance Nominated
1991 Back on the Block (with Quincy Jones) Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Won

Appeared on


  1. ^ a b c "Kool Moe Dee". Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  2. ^ a b John Bush. "Kool Moe Dee". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  3. ^ Hip Hop around the World: An Encyclopedia [2 volumes] edited by Melissa Ursula Dawn Goldsmith, Anthony J. Fonseca
  4. ^ Sensual Astrology for the African American Woman: Everything You Need to ... By S. R. Covington
  5. ^ Kool Dee, Chuck D, Ernie Panniccioli, Kool Mo Dee, Chuck D (November 20, 2003). There's a God on the Mic. The True 50 Greatest MCs. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9781560255338.
  6. ^ Patrick Goldstein, "Kool Moe Grades Rappers: Give Him A+," Los Angeles Times, November 29, 1987.
  7. ^ "Behind The Rhyme with Kool Mo Dee". Behind The Rhyme with Kool Mo Dee. Archived from the original on 2018-11-27. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  8. ^ "Chuck D Tells Kool Moe Dee That Spike Lee Did For Public Enemy What Radio Wouldn't (Video)". 9 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Entry for The Greatest Hits". Mint Underground. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  10. ^ "Entry for The Greatest Hits". Retrieved October 23, 2012.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 May 2020, at 10:30
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