on December 30, 1999
Way back in the days when rap was inventive and meant something, there was Kool Moe Dee. Blowing the roof off of nearly every other rapper around. Always taking the high ground, never stooping to gangsta posturing or pretty-boy posing, he came at you with an amazing ability to rhyme and poignant subjects that make today's rap look just plain silly. It's a shame rap had to be co-opted by tough-guy-wannabes and pointless airheads, because Moe Dee could still be topping the charts today. A forgotten legend.
on June 13, 2000
I'm giving this 5 stars on the strenth of track 3 alone..."I Go to Work" is an absolute lyrical masterpiece, it seriously stands up as strong as Eric B and Rakim's "Follow the Leader" (and any head will tell you that's a TALL order)...Kool Moe Dee is best on this record when he's hitting the uptempo battle rhymes like "I Go to Work" but he's also strong on his serious tracks like "Knowledge is King" and the venomous "Pump Ya Fist"...even the no-I-ain't-got-no-girlfriend track ("They Want Money") works as well at a party as it does in headphones.
A record which deserves to be better known than it is, coming from the Golden Age of Hip hop, when you had to be NASTY on the mic to get a record deal.
on October 22, 2004
This is the first album I ever got of Kool Mo Dee's. His albums are hard to find in stores. Anyways, this album represents an interesting scenario, since Mo Dee is old-old school (starting in the late 70's with The Treacherous Three), and this his third solo album, in which the world of Hiphop had changed drastically beforehand in '87,'88, and '89. So it's interesting to see if he's still relevant in those changed times.
The album actually began with 3 of the first 4 tracks being lighter and less serious than expected (excluding "I Go To Work" of course), but even these songs have messages denouncing women's materialistic ways, and declaring he wants a woman with a strong mind and personality. "I Go To Work," if you didn't know, is one of the best songs of his career. This one has superb lyrics covering his approach to this craft and some battle rhymes (KMD is one of the all-time greats at battling). I usually prefer mellow music, but "I Go To Work" just gets me AMPED! Otherwise, the remaining six tracks are all serious and brilliant in their own ways. Still, the highlights out of these are the title track (great rhymes promoting intellect and study), "Get The Picture," "I'm Blowing Up," and the last "Pump Your Fist"(promoting black pride and denouncing drugs; a true gem from this era). You will have to listen to all these over and over to catch everything.
Kool Mo Dee is known as the prelude to Rakim, in that he raised the bar lyrically and how he rhymed every sentence. And this is the work he did after Rakim & a few others had advanced the Hiphop art. Kool Mo Dee's vocabulary is vast, maybe the best I've ever heard in a rapper. He still uses his old-old school style of shouting over flowing, but I think he sped it up a little in this album to adjust with the times. His voice sounds a lot like Ced-Gee's from the Ultramagnetic MC's, or it should be said the other way around based on KMD's legacy. The musical backgrounds usually hit pretty hard, and have aged well, and there were even some rock elements included in a couple of the songs.
It's funny how I bought this album right before I bough Mos Def's brand new album "The New Danger," and it all sounds good to me. I don't need to play this one over and over again just to understand what was going on in '89 compared to modern day stuff, or vice-versa. Hiphop at its best is timeless! Kool Mo Dee himself stated in his book ("There's A God On The Mic") that this is his best work. I recommend getting this because Kool Mo Dee is one of the pioneers before Rakim, before KRS-One, before Big Daddy Kane, and he proves he's still relevant in a time when those three were kings. His music still offers valuable insight today, and his legacy and contributions to Hiphop are irrefutable!
on July 2, 2004
Kool Moe Dee...what more can I say. By far, Knowledge Is King, is his best work. Before there was Nas, there was Rakim, before there was Rakim, there was KOOL MOE DEE. As a member of the Treacherous Three, he was the creator/innovator of being "lyrical." He is the reason why I wanted to be a serious MC. K.I.K represents many facets of a well-balanced display of lyrical contact, music and song structure. I still enjoy this album till this day. My favorite song is "the avenue." However,
"I go to work" and the title track, are superb. I don't beleive that the "average rap fan" understands MOE DEE's legacy. Overall, the L.L battle may have had an effect on his influence on Hip Hop. Based on the fact, that because L.L (who is also one of the greats) had a longer lasting career and it's probably safe to say, that he also made better records than his counter part; people think that he may have won the battle. But, if they would have ever met head to head, on stage, rhyme for rhyme...KOOL MOE DEE would have been victorious. What L.L brought to the culture of battling, was that he added other components to the battle, such as record sells, sex appeal, money etc. Prior to this period, battling was about rhymes, lyrics, wittiness etc. MOE DEE is indeed a Master. One of the greatest of all-times. Prior to the coming of Rakim, KOOL MOE DEE was the best. My top 5 overall influences- Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Kool Moe Dee, Kool G. Rap. Moe Dee should probably be first, because he is the reason why I wanted to MC, back in 1981. Treacherous Three is my favorite group from the pioneer period of hip hop (79-85) From New Rap Language, At the party, The Body Rock, Put the Boogie in your body, Feel the Heartbeat, Yes we Can, Action, Get Up, X-mas Rap, We'll Turn you on, Gotta Rock, Turn it up etc. They always represented lyrical excellence. They were like three solo MC's together in a group. Anyway, Long live KOOL MOE DEE. Your presence is missed. PEACE..... r.l.will.sun
on May 17, 2011
Kool Moe Dee was part of a seminal Hip Hop group from the 1980's called The Treacherous Three. From these recordings you could tell that Kool Moe Dee had potential to be a breakout star. He is the inventor of more rhyme formulas than anyone else in rap history. From the fast rhyming style on "New Rap Language", to breaking rhymes down syllabically, introducing uncommon vocabulary, matching subject to verb properly, popularizing battle techniques with old rivals from Busy Bee to LL, and so forth and so on. Kool Moe Dee is also a scholar in emcee studies. On the inside of an earlier albums liner notes, he introduced Hip Hop's first (and maybe only) report card where he graded emcees on specific categories (vocab, stage presence, vocal presence, flow, lyrics, originality, etc...). In other words, Moe Dee takes his work very seriously and this album is his finest solo work. In fact, his finest lyrical performance may very well be "I Go To Work". Personally, this belongs in a trinity alongside Rakims "Lyrics of Fury" and Kool G Raps "Men At Work" as master works of lyrical craftsmanship. He also values knowledge as exemplified by the albums title track. This was a song that enlightened many minds at the time to not fall into ignorance which is so easy to do without doing the knowledge first. The lyricism is very impressive and you can tell that Moe Dee is a very well educated man (I believe he has a masters in communications). The production from Teddy Riley is funky but at times it can be pre-new jack swingness which doesn't always do justice for a lyricist of Moe Dee's caliber. Overall, this is Kool Moe Dee at his finest lyrically with some of his most accessible production even if at times the beats may alienate fans who leans towards harder back drops.
on June 6, 2015
If you ever wanted to know what true rap is,this is it! Intellegent,making your money legit,and just a good ol' fashion having a good time. That was true rap,something up beat to listen and dance to! Moe Dee is a true rapper and one of the pioneers thereof.
on July 13, 2007
Have to chime in and say that this truly is a lost classic. Knowledge is King came out right as the Old School was transitioning into the powerful (yet fatally flawed) Gangsta Rap era. It is definately not as playful as older rap albums, but KMD comes across strong and hard without the tired gimmicks (guns, b*tches, etc.) that defined his followers. On top of decent beats, he's as lyrically gifted as the D.O.C. If you like this era but aren't familiar with this one, buy it and you won't be disappointed.
on September 2, 2008
I have been looking for this CD for 7 years. I had the CD but had a fire and everything was destroyed. I remember playing this CD over and over and over until I learned all the words to the song knowledge is king. This CD is is not only old school rap but and inspiration to all people no matter what race, color or creed. This Cd is wonderful and everyone all ages should listen, retain and study and apply it to everyday life and it's situation(s). This is the very best CD.
Joi from Philly
on April 23, 2005
This,too me, is Kool Moe Dee most complete LP. Sure 'How ya like me know, had it good cuts, Funke,Funke wisdom ditto, but this LP was on point. It's conscious lyrics, great production(mostly Teddy Riley)are worth the price alone. Tpo cuts are: They want Money,The Avenue, I go to work, Knowledge is King, and pump your fist. Go enjoy.
on April 22, 2013
I really like Kool Moe Dee's flow on his album's. I bought the CD as a replacement for the cassette that I used to own back in the day.