Kool Moe Dee
Real Name: Mohandes Dewese
D.O.B.: August 8th, 1962, South Bronx, New York.
Kool joined up with DJ Easy Lee, L.A. Sunshine, Special K and Spoonie G during his formative years and called themselves The Treacherous Three rhyming and battling through New York learning the hiphop culture and lending a hand to demonstrate the phenomenon to the world through various mediums of media. A quick tongued talent of rap he is considered a contributory architect of the development of the emcee at the right place at the right time for their emergence in the four elements of the hiphop movement.
Born in 1962, Dee had the talent of a unique fast paced rapping and struck early popularity at local block parties performing with his high school friends and the sounds of the Treacherous Three were born. After honing their emcee skills on the local emcee circuit battles, most notably against Grandwizzard Theodore’s Fantastic Five crew, the three had become friendly with a local DJ Spoonie G who introduced them to his uncle, Bobby Robinson who was a longtime producer of Gladys Knight and the Orioles. Robinson ran Enjoy Records and soon signed the three to a recording contract. By 1980 they released ‘The New Rap Language’ on the b-side to Spoonie G’s ‘Love Rap’ track. Soon after this release they put out two tracks, ‘Body Rock’ and ‘At the Party’. By ’81 the group had released several more tracks before and after Robinson sold their contract to Sugar Hill Records. By the mid ‘80s the group had split up with Dee continuing his college education. He earned a degree in communications from SUNY. He later reemerged as a solo artist.
Shortly before their break up, Moe Dee and Special K co hosted a spot on television called ‘Graffiti Rock’ in which they would perform at every segue into commercials and fans remember especially when Run DMC guest appeared on the show where Run and Jam Master Jay battled with Dee and K. According to Dee, behind the scenes, Jay asked them to go easy on them in front of the cameras and live audience, much to Run’s dismay, as Dee was notorious at battling with the Chief Rocking battler supreme, Busy Bee. This was a short lived show at 1984.
By 1986 Dee had enlisted the production work of teenager Teddy Riley who was later known as the new jack swing king on the hit single, ‘Go See The Doctor’. This success landed him Dee a contract with Jive Records for which he recorded his first solo self-titled LP followed by two more highly acclaimed albums in the late 80s demonstrating his finesse for his well known speed-raps. By this stage with the upbringing of younger stars imitating established styles, Kool Moe Dee grew intolerant of new LL Cool J rapper stealing his lyrical flow and aggressive stance. By 1987 Dee snapped back at brash young MC LL with ‘How Ya Like Me Now’ with the cover photo featured a red Kangol hat (trademark of LL’s) being crushed under the wheel of a Jeep. The album went platinum due to growing headlines and publicity received by their open spat. Two years later he released his third very successful album, ‘Knowledge Is King’ receiving certified gold status and gave Dee the honour of being the first rapper to ever perform at the Grammy Awards ceremonies. Also in ’89 Dee starred on two important classic collaborations, ‘Self Destruction’ which was recorded in conjunction with KRS One’s ‘Stop the Violence Movement’ as well as Quincy Jone’s all-star ‘Back On the Block’ LP famous for uniting current hip hop stars with their musical forebears.
The fourth album released by Dee, ‘Funke Funke Wisdom’ was considered a disappointing effort when compared to his earlier work resulting in Jive/RCA dropping him after releasing his Greatest Hits package in 1993. Dee continued with a Treacherous Three reunion later that same year and subsequently signed up to DJ Easy Lee’s label for his 1994 album ‘Interlude’. The title wasn’t so prophetic seeing as this was to be his last album.
- 1986 I'm Kool Moe Dee
- 1987 How Ya Like Me Now (Platinum)
- 1989 Knowledge Is King (Gold)
- 1991 Funke, Funke Wisdom
- 1993 Greatest Hits
- 1994 Interlude)
- 1995 Jive Collection Volume 2: Kool Moe Dee