In the Beastie Boys' song "Intergalactic"
they rhyme "Got an A from Moe Dee for sticking to themes." The "A" is in reference
to the score of 10 that Kool Moe Dee gave the Beastie Boys in his infamous rapper's
report card. What the Beastie Boys didn't mention in that song was the
other relatively low marks that they received from Kool Moe Dee. The break
down looks like this:
Stage Presence: 8
Sticking to Themes: 10
Innovating Rhymes: 6
Overall Score: 70 ... C
With an overall score of seventy the Beastie Boys were
ranked the absolute lowest of the rappers on Kool Moe Dee's report card. The
Beastie Boys did make a mention of their difference of opinion on the subject
when they appeared on a European music video countdown show entitled
"Wanted" in 1992. Overall the band did not seem to take too much offense
to Kool Moe Dee's criticism and in 1994 they even mentioned him in a
song lyric from "Root Down." To be exact, "Like Harlem World
Battles On The Zulu Beat Show It's Kool Moe Dee Vs. Busy Bee There's One You Should Know."
Prior to his historic battle against Busy Bee, Kool Moe
Dee had paid his rap dues in the act The Treacherous Three. The Treacherous
Three were also legends amongst battle tape collectors, but Kool Moe Dee
made his own way after leaving the group and earning a communications degree
from a New York college. Using his natural knack for communications, Kool
Moe Dee set off on a solo career while he was still signed to the Sugar
Hill label with The Treacherous Three. First he released the single "Turn
It Up" and lent his writing talents to the Sugar Hill Gang's single "The
Down Beat" of which he also recorded his own version. Both singles were released
After taking a short break, Kool
Moe Dee decided to re-enter the hip-hop record business
full time and enlisted the help of an unknown producer named
Teddy Riley. If you're not familiar with Teddy Riley's later
productions, you're not familiar with hip-hop history. The
first single they teamed up on was "Go See the Doctor"
and consequently it made them both famous. So famous in
fact that by 1986 Kool Moe Dee had been signed to Jive and
was on his way to releasing his first full length solo album.
In 1987, with the release of his next album How Ya Like
Me Now and the single of the same name, Kool Moe Dee
moved into one of the most highlighted portions of his career.
Battling was nothing new to Kool Moe Dee, but his lyrical
battle with LL Cool J grabbed
the attention of the entire hip-hop community.
Kool Moe Dee took on LL Cool J in a war of words. After
being attacked, LL Cool J fired back with "Jack the Ripper." This
prompted Kool Moe Dee to return with "Let's Go." LL Cool J once again countered
with "To The Break of Dawn." And lastly, Kool Moe Dee finished up with
"Death Blow." There was no clear winner, but the battle had helped to sell many
records for both artists and give the young Def Jam star LL Cool J legendary
status in his own right.
So in retrospect, the Beastie Boys having received criticism
from a great talent like Kool Moe Dee was not nearly as disrespectful
as many rap magazines had played it up at the time. Kool Moe Dee after
all became the first rapper to ever perform on the Grammy Awards show.
At a time when hip-hop struggled for credibility as a legitimate form of
music, Kool Moe Dee was there to see it through so that acts like the Beastie
Boys could take it to the next level in the years to come.