Kool Moe Dee Biography

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Mohandas DeWese, 8 August 1962, Harlem, New York, USA. Once of original rap pioneers Treacherous Three, Kool Moe Dee carved a solo career bracing his old school style against the more urbane concerns of the new wave. He originally started rapping in his native Harlem by grabbing the mic at house parties, soon hooking up with his Treacherous colleagues L.A. Sunshine and Special K. However, with interest failing in the outfit following the arrival of a new wave of hip-hop artists, in 1986 he elected to work as a solo artist. He graduated from SUNY at Old Westbury, before his solo career started in earnest when he joined up with Teddy Riley for the crossover hit, ‘Go See The Doctor’, a cautionary account of the dangers of AIDS. Released on Rooftop Records, it won him a fresh contract with Jive Records. Much of his notoriety as the 80s progressed involved a long-running duel on record with LL Cool J, the first flowering of which was the title track to his second, platinum-selling album. A succession of minor hit singles ensued, including ‘Wild, Wild West’, ‘They Want Money’ and ‘Rise And Shine’, the latter featuring Chuck D. (Public Enemy) and KRS-One on complementary vocals. He also became the first rap artist to perform at the Grammy Awards (following the success of 1989’s Knowledge Is King), and continued to fight back against gangsta rap’s misogynist vocabulary: ‘When you get funke funke wisdom, then you’ll understand, The woman is the driving force for any powerful man, From birth to earth to earth to rebirth, it ain’t a curse, Put your thoughts in reverse’. Fitting words of wisdom from a man who has written over half a dozen screenplays. He reunited with his Treacherous Three colleagues for 1994’s star-studded Old School Flava.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.