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Having initially gained fame as a member of pioneering Hip Hop collective the Treacherous Three, Mohandas ‘Kool Moe Dee’ Dewese would later go on to launch a very successful, not to mention highly reputable, solo career.

The Manhattan, New York City, born rapper-songwriter-actor has since released five studio albums; self-titled debut, How Ya Like Me Now, Knowledge Is King, Funke, Funke Wisdom and Interlude, to date, spawning a succession of hit offerings; “Go See the Doctor,” “How Ya Like Me Now,” “Wild Wild West” and “I Go to Work.”

Kool Moe Dee, who also holds degree in communications, is maybe equally known for his rap battles with first Busy Bee and then, of course, his long-running rivalry with LL Cool J.


First things first, last year (August 11th to be exact) marked the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop — What exactly does that mean to and for you?

And, to quote the late, great The Notorious B.I.G., “You never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far!” — Was this something that you ever could’ve imagined?

Absolutely! The first thing I would like to always point out is I am from the first generation of lyricists; the advantage that we had was doing it from a place of pure passion, there was no industry yet, because we were creating the industry in real time…and, simultaneously, the streets for our generation, was all about Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers. So, the whole street climate was revolutionary!

What are some of your fondest, most stand-out moments / memories during your lengthy tenure in this thing called Hip Hop?

One of my favorite all-time memories was (1) the first time I could see the potential for Hip Hop’s dominance, seeing Grandmaster Flash at the Audubon Ballroom in 1978, and watching the entire crowd lose their collective minds!

That said, what are your future plans and / or goals throughout the remainder of 2024 and beyond?

My next music project, since we don’t make albums anymore, is called the African King; I will record a series of familiar tracks and put African themes on it. Scheduled for the fall of 2024.

Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?

This time around, I’ll make sure the audience knows how much I’ve fought my colonization, every step of the way! There’s no oppressor boss at a record company now!!

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

No, I’m not happy with the state of Hip Hop these days, because there’s not enough revolutionary themes happening. It’s as if most artists are going for making money, and being popular or successful.

What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?

My absolute Revolutionary spirit, is and was the reason I’ve always won!

Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?

NONE Entertainment is my life choice. It’s the best way to affect change in my opinion.

What’s an average day like for you?

Writing and creating all day.

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

My reaction and interaction with fans is a little tenuous these days, because we have normalized some absolute bullshit with cell phones and social media!

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part of this whole thing is being able to say or present a point of view that people might have thought of.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

My only advice is always follow your instincts!

Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?

In five or ten years, I hope to be a culturally relevant aging artist, still affecting change!

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

As far as the emcees, I like Kendrick and Drake, but I think that J Cole is the Class of the New lyricist!

Any “parting” words for our readers?

Stay Revolutionary!


Kool Moe Dee: Revolutionary #HH50

Kool Moe Dee: Revolutionary #HH50

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