This Day in Hip Hop and Rap History
Host: Chuck D w/ Duke Eatmon & Ron Maskell
August 8th, 2012
August 8th – Kool Moe Dee was born Mohandas DeWese in Harlem, New York, on this day in 1962.
In the late 1970’s Kool Moe Dee formed The Treacherous Three with childhood friends Lamar Hill, whose stage name was L.A. Sunshine, Theodore Moy’e also known as DJ Easy Lee and Gabriel Jackson, who became known to the hip-hop world as Spoonie Gee.
When Spoonie Gee left the group, soon after to embark on a solo career, he was replaced by Kevin Keaton a.k.a Special K.
After a failed relationship with Sound Of New York Records, who released his first solo single, Spoonie Gee got a record contract with Enjoy Records, which was owned by his uncle Bobby Robinson.
Spoonie Gee managed to convince his uncle to allow the new Treacherous Three to record the B-side. The result was “New Rap Language”, the first Treacherous Three recording.
“New Rap Language” broke new ground for hip-hop as it was the first record to feature “speed rapping.”
The Treacherous Three released a slew of singles with Enjoy Records including the cult classic “Body Rock.”
The Treacherous Three eventually moved over to Sugar Hill Records where they released their 1984 Self-Entitled debut album which spawned underground classics like “Yes We Can Can” and “Whip It.”
The group also appeared in a classic scene in the 1984 Orion Pictures film “Beat Street.”
After the group disbanded in 1985, Dee went solo, releasing his Self-Entitled debut album on Jive Records in 1986.
Dee followed that up with 1987’s platinum-selling “How Ya Like Me Now”, which featured the hit title track and “Wild Wild West” which sparked his long-running musical feud with LL Cool J.
Dee then next offered up the very much underrated “Knowledge Is King” album released in 1989.
1991 saw the release of probably his strongest album ever with “Funkee, Funkee Wisdom”, which featured the classic singles “How Cool Can One Blackman Be” and “Rise ‘N’ Shine” featuring Yours Truly and KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions, whose accompanying video featured an updated simulation of the assassination of Malcolm X.
Dee has also collaborated musically with The Isley Brothers, The Spinners, Regina Belle and Quincy Jones.
In 1994, Dee reunited with The Treacherous Three and released the reunion album “Old School Flava.”
Kool Moe Dee has appeared in a number of films as well like “Wild Style”, “Panther” and “Crossroads.”
Dee has also appeared on episodes on television series like “Way Black When”, “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.”