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Photo of Kool Moe Dee

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

Born Mohandas Dewese in New York City in 1962, Kool Moe Dee was known as an eccentric young man, always carrying around a pen and pad to write down rhymes. He attended the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, and graduated with a B.A. degree.

In the late 70s, Kool Moe Dee met Special K, Dj Easy Lee, and LA Sunshine to form the group The Treacherous Three. In 1981, Kool Moe dee performed a freestyle onstage roast of MC Busy Bee, a performance that is cited as one of the first moments in hip-hop of a rapper taking on another rapper lyrically.

In ’85, the Treacherous Three disbanded. Kool Moe Dee partnered with producer Teddy Riley to release his self-titled debut album, which reached 83 on the Billboard 200. It wasn’t until his second album, How Ya Like Me Now, that Kool Moe Dee reached his superstar status.

This album marked the beginning of the long-standing beef between Kool Moe Dee and LL Cool J. The two heavyweight MCs traded diss tracks for years to come, and is still debated as to who was the winner.

Today we wish a happy birthday and salute a pioneer, and one of the greatest MCs of all time – Kool Moe Dee!

Check out this video below detailing the historic encounter of Kool Moe Dee and Busy Bee in ’81

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