Hip hop legend Kool Moe Dee’s rap report card has resurfaced where he grades rappers of the 80s and 90s, including Tupac Shakur.
Mohandas Dewese, better known as Kool Moe Dee, was a member of the 1970’s pioneering Hip Hop group, The Treacherous Three. The group are thought to be the originators of fast rapping, therefore influencing many artists coming up. As a result of the Treacherous Three splitting in 1985, Dewese went solo. His career was successful, with his second album, ‘How Ya Like Me Now’, achieving platinum status.
UK scratch DJ Jimbo Jones shared Moe Dee’s 80s and 90s rap report card in a recent tweet. “Back in the 80s, Kool Moe Dee did a report card with grades for rappers on the inner sleeve of the ‘How You Like Me Now’ LP. Ego Trip got him to do another one at the end of the 90s. Fun reading,” Jimbo tweeted. The UK DJ is referring to the 1999 release “Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists.” The Book of Rap Lists runs the gamut of hip hop information and is an exhaustive, indispensable and completely irreverent bible of true hip hip knowledge.
In the rap report card for the 80s, Kool Moe Dee grades himself with a 95 equivalent to an A plus. Both eras are graded by 10 categories. Vocabulary, articulation, creativity, originality, versatility, voice, records, stage presence, sticking to themes, and innovating rhythms. Many legendary artists were graded in the 90s, but only Biggie Smalls earned a 95 on the report card.
Kool Moe Dee who worked with Tupac in the Gang Related movie, graded Shakur a 93. Alongside Jim Belushi, Kool Moe Dee played the character, Lionel Hudd. Sharing his experience working with Tupac, Kool Moe Dee appeared on the The Geraldo Rivera Show. Originally airing two weeks after Tupac died in 1996, the episode titled ‘Thug Life, Imitating Art’, explores the life of Tupac. Describing his co-star as “very intelligent and very articulate”, the Hip Hop pioneer says Tupac had a two-sided personality. Speaking to host Geraldo Rivera about how Tupac was while on the set of Gang Related, Kool Moe Dee says that Tupac also revealed to him his plans beyond music.
“He talked a lot about what he was going to do and what his direction was. He was very specific in saying that he had enough of the quote-unquote Thug Life from the rap perspective and he was going to focus on his movie career,” Kool Moe Dee said.
Here is how Kool Moe Dee graded Tupac
- Vocabulary – 9
- Articulation – 10
- Creativity – 10
- Originality – 9
- Versatility – 10
- Voice – 9
- Records – 9
- Stage Presence – 9
- Sticking to Themes – 10
- Innovating rhythms – 8