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Greatest Hits

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Album Review

With a history dating back to the early days of Sugar Hill Records, Kool Moe Dee was able to reinvent himself as a solo artist during the latter half of the '80s, and in the process helped rap transform from an underground party music into a cultural phenomenon. Greatest Hits collects 14 of the most essential items from this seminal figure, kicking off with his two best-known songs — the catchy "Wild Wild West" and the influential safe-sex rap "Go See the Doctor." His flow is most definitely old-school — nearly every couplet is squared off at the end — but his technique was in the top of its class for its pre-golden age time period ("Look at Me Now" is impressive by any standard). His chief rival was LL Cool J, and not just in the abstract sense — their on-record feud was the most legendary in early hip-hop, and it's chronicled here on "Let's Go," "Death Blow," and "How Ya Like Me Now." His MC boasts are among the best of their time, but he was also ambitious enough to tackle socially conscious material; apart from the aforementioned "Go See the Doctor," there's "No Respect," a cautionary tale of a street hustler who lost everything, and the Chuck D/KRS-One team-up "Rise 'n' Shine." His production is often heavy on the synths and drum machines, though there are also some James Brown-type samples; a few tracks are produced by new jack swing legend Teddy Riley, and those constitute some of the earliest work in his career. All in all, Greatest Hits is an essential look back at one of the greatest talents the old school ever produced.


Born: 08 August 1962 in Harlem, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A member of one of the original hip-hop crews, Treacherous Three, Kool Moe Dee later became a solo star in his own right in 1986 by teaming with a teenaged Teddy Riley (later famed as the king of new jack swing) on the crossover hit "Go See the Doctor." The single earned him a contract with Jive Records, for which he recorded three successful late-'80s albums, dominated by his skillful speed-raps. A long-running feud with LL Cool J -- who stole his aggressive stance and rapping style, he claims --...
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Greatest Hits, Kool Moe Dee
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