Kool Moe Dee Is 50

Happy 50th birthday to Mohandas Dewese, better known as the great first-wave rap star Kool Moe Dee. Born in Manhattan, Moe Dee went to Norman Thomas High School and, in the late ’70s, formed the Treacherous Three with Special K and L.A. Sunshine. In 1980, they joined their friend Spoonie G in recording the classic “The New Rap Language” for Enjoy Records. The next year, at the Harlem World Rappers Christmas Convention, Dee engaged rival MC Busy Bee Starski in a rhyme competition that’s often cited as the original rap battle.

The Treacherous Three gave a memorable performance in Stan Lathan’s 1984 movie Beat Street.

Later in the decade, Moe Dee famously battled an upstart from Queens named LL Cool J.

He looks good in a duster.

And should have been beaten out Timothy Dalton for the role of James Bond after Roger Moore quit.