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Wyclef Jean

Hip hop artist Wyclef Jean was born on October 17, 1969 in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti to Yolanda Jean and Gesner Jean. His family emigrated from Haiti to Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Newark, New Jersey. Jean graduated from Vailsburg High School in Newark in 1988, and attended East Nazarene College and Five Towns College.

In 1990, Jean, Pras Michel and Lauryn Hill formed the musical group the Fugees. The Fugees released their LP Blunted on Reality in 1994, followed in 1996 with their most popular album, The Score. Achieving significant commercial success with The Score, and winning the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of the Year, the Fugees disbanded in 1997, and Jean began his solo career with the release of his debut album The Carnival. He continued to release albums throughout the 2000s including The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, Masquerade, The Preacher's Son, Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101, Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant, From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion, J'ouvert, and Carnival III: Road to Clefication. In 2006, Jean became widely known for his feature on singer Shakira’s single “Hips Don't Lie,” which topped the U.S. Billboard Charts. As a producer, Jean worked with a diverse array of artists over the years including rappers Canibus and T.I., Latin guitarist Carlos Santana, Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, and electronic music duo the Knocks. In addition, Jean composed music for movies like The Agronomist, Ghosts of Cité Soleil, A Place In Time, and the song “Million Voices” for the movie Hotel Rwanda. Jean also was featured in several cameo roles on the NBC show Third Watch, and the ABC show Nashville.

In 2001, Jean established the charity organization Yéle Haiti, in order to provide aid after Hurricane Jeanne, and the 2010 Haitian earthquake. He also participated in the benefit concert “America: A Tribute to Heroes” following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In 2010, Jean announced a run for the presidency of Haiti, but was ruled ineligible. Jean published his memoir “Purpose: An Immigrant's Story” in 2012.

Jean and his wife, Claudinette Fushard Jean, have one daughter, Angelina Jean.

Wyclef Jean was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.148

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/12/2016

Last Name

Jean

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Vailsburg Middle School

Eastern Nazarene College

Berklee College of Music

First Name

Wyclef

HM ID

JEA02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Croix-des-Bouquets

Favorite Vacation Destination

The Islands

Favorite Quote

Catch a vibe.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/17/1969

Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Haiti

Favorite Food

Turkey the way my wife cooks it.

Short Description

Hip hop artist Wyclef Jean (1969 - ) was a founding member of the hip-hop group the Fugees, before launching his own solo career. He also produced music for artists like Carlos Santana, the Knocks and Shakira.

Employment

Tyme

Ruffhouse Records / Columbia Records

Columbia Records

Various

All Handz On Deck

Heads Music

Favorite Color

Red

Darryl "DMC" McDaniels

Hip hop artist Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was born on May 31, 1964 in Harlem, New York. He graduated from Rice High School in Manhattan in 1982, and enrolled at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, but did not graduate.

In 1982, McDaniels formed Run DMC with group mates Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. In 1984, Run DMC signed to Profile Records under the management of Russell Simmons, and released their first album, Run DMC. That same year, the group’s music video “Rock Box” became first rap music video played on MTV. In 1985, Run DMC released the King of Rock album. They became only the second rap group to appear on American Bandstand, performing the hit “Jam Master Jammin.” In 1986, Run DMC released the critically acclaimed Raising Hell album, which was their top selling album, reaching certified triple platinum status. Raising Hell featured the popular song “Walk This Way,” a cover of the 1975 Aerosmith single of the same name. In the same year, Run DMC became the first rap group to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, and the first rap group to perform on Saturday Night Live. The group followed their success with albums Tougher Than Leather in 1988 and Back From Hell in 1990. In 1993, Run DMC released Down with the King, and after an eight year hiatus, Run DMC released their comeback album, Crown Royal in 2001. McDaniels released his first solo album, Check Thugs and Rock N Roll, in 2006.

McDaniels co-founded The Felix Organization, a nonprofit focused on children who grow up in the foster care system. In 2009, he and Run DMC were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. McDaniels authored an autobiography entitled King of Rock: Respect, Responsibility, and My Life with Run DMC, and a memoir entitled Ten Ways to Not Commit Suicide. In 2014, McDaniels created the comic book publishing imprint, Darryl Makes Comics. Run DMC became the first rap group to be awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

McDaniels and his wife, Zuri McDaniels, have one son, Darryl “D’Son” McDaniels, Jr.

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was interviewed by The Historymakers on August 26, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.018

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/26/2016

Last Name

McDaniels

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

St. Pascal Baylon School

Rice High School

St. John's University

First Name

Darryl

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

MCD08

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

“My Whole Life Is A Big Vacation.”

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/31/1964

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Apple Pie, Rice Pudding and Red Velvet Cake

Short Description

Hip hop artist Darryl "DMC" McDaniels (1964 - ) was a founding member of the hip hop group Run DMC.

Employment

Run-DMC

DMC Enterprises

DMC Comics

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Darryl "DMC" McDaniels' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his birth mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about his adoption

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Darryl DMC McDaniels talks about the adoption laws in New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers meeting his birth mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his adoptive parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the Hollis neighborhood of Queens, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about his early activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his interest in comic books

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his early experiences of bullying

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the demographics of his neighborhood in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the celebrity residents of Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his introduction to hip hop music

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls selling his comic books to buy deejay equipment

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels explains the process of mixing music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers 'Superrappin'' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about disco and hip hop music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls listening to early hip hop music

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers his childhood friends

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his early friendship with Reverend Run

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers the early hip hop artists

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the early hip hop battles

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about the decline of musical education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers recording Run-DMC's first singles, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers recording Run-DMC's first singles, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls signing a contract with Profile Records

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls his aspirations while in college

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers leaving college to tour with Run-DMC

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels explains the origin of Jam Master Jay's name

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes his friendship with Jam Master Jay

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Reverend Run and Jam Master Jay

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Run-DMC's visual style

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls the premiere of Run-DMC's first video on MTV

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Run-DMC's song, 'Walk This Way'

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels describes the impact of Run-DMC's 'Walk This Way'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls the introduction of hip hop music to the mainstream

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Darryl "DMC" talks about Run-DMC's contribution to hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers a gang brawl at a Run-DMC concert

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about contemporary hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels reflects upon the negative messages in hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about parental advisory labels

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about the commercialization of hip hop music

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers the night that Tupac was killed

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about Run-DMC's original style

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels talks about the labelling of conscious rap

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels remembers President Barack Obama's election

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Darryl "DMC" McDaniels recalls listening to early hip hop music
Darryl "DMC" talks about Run-DMC's contribution to hip hop music
Transcript
What I was gonna say was when me and my brother [McDaniels' adoptive brother, Alford McDaniels] we got our turntables, my brother would leave and go, I would go in the basement. Before I heard 'Superrappin',' I heard a cassette tape of a live performance of Grandmaster Flash so I knew Flash was a deejay but I was still too little to put it together. Then when I heard the Furious Five record, I knew, I started paying attention. The 'Rapper's Delight' guys [Sugarhill Gang] is rapping over this music telling their stories then I heard the way the Furious Five did it I just started writing rhymes so I could have rhymes for a deejay, wasn't to be that and that was '78 [1978] that was eighth grade [at St. Pascal Baylon School, Queens, New York]. I was the class of '82 [1982] so '79 [1979], '80 [1980], '81 [1981], '82 [1982]. And '79 [1979] was my freshman year at Rice High School [New York, New York] so what I'm trying to say is we had these records out, we had these rap records--these, these, it wasn't even hip hop. See I'm--hip hop before it was labeled. We had records like 'Rapper's Delight' and 'Superrappin'' but it wasn't rap songs 'cause it was deejays and emcees so we had these records out where we were using a lot of disco records 'cause disco records always had the great beat the deejay could keep going but when I got to Rice High School in Harlem [New York, New York] which was right over from the Bronx [New York] but see I didn't know all this, when I got to Rice High School in ninth grade, I heard a form of this rapping emcee stuff that I didn't know exist. What I mean is when I got to Rice High School, I started hearing one of the guys who wrote 'Rapper's Delight' and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five before they was allowed to even go record in recording studios. I heard what they were doing at their block parties and their park parties and what I was gonna say was there was a hip hop that was already in the club. That's why a lot of the records, a lot of the rappers wanted to sound like your favorite jock. "I'm the disco deejay rapping man you know I say clap your hands and stomp your feet," those were older dudes. Those dudes were basically twenty-one and older. Maybe nineteen and older and they could get in a club they could (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Donnie Simpson style voice--$$Yes.$$Imhotep Gary Byrd.$$Gary Byrd yes. Exactly. Gary Byrd and what was the guy Hank Strand [sic. Hank Spann] and what the guy on WBLS [WBLS Radio, New York, New York]? Oh my goodness. So those guys were doing the hip hop deejay thing in that mode. They was already in the club so remember I was too young to get in the club. When I got to Rice High School to make you understand better, I started hearing Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five before they even thought about recording records. I started hearing the Treacherous Three. The Funky Four Plus One. The Plus One was this female girl [Sha Rock] it was four dudes and this female girl that was rapping but the beautiful thing about me hearing hip, hearing these emcees who were rapping before they made records, they were talking about stuff that I could relate as a young dude. They were talking about going to school. They were talking about going to eat at McDonald's. They were talking about going to the movies. They were talking about watching Bugs Bunny. It was the younger demographic doing--emulating the hip hop, there was a younger demographic emulating the radio deejay club style deejay performance thing but they were talking about what they did and that changed my perception of writing. Then I realized I can write about what Darryl [HistoryMaker Darryl "DMC" McDaniels] does. So that kind of--I had no idea where this was going but that started me okay I became Easy D. It was easy for me to write because I'm a good student and my name is Darryl begins with a D so originally my, my, my rap name was Easy D and I used to just write all these rhymes about what Darryl liked to do, going to the store, playing with my G.I. Joes, playing with my army men, listening to the radio, riding my skateboard, riding my bike. What I like to eat. So that all was what I was writing not even thinking of being them just you supposed to do this it's like playing with my G.I. Joe.$$So basically you just you know performed these raps for yourself or did you (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah it was me believing--the same way I used to pretend to be Batman and Superman, it was me pretending to be Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five that's all (simultaneous).$Now here you are, from everything I read Run-DMC is as you said the emergent you know rap group and everybody who follows basically is looking at what Run-DMC is doing and following in a sense.$$(OFF CAMERA INTERRUPTION)$$But anyway Run-DMC is setting the tone for everybody else now right in this--$$No, no I mean what Run-DMC--we didn't--people say I know y'all didn't invent it but y'all started all of this but we did. The people that really started it is Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Fantastic Five, Treacherous Three, Funky Four Plus One, Cold Crush Four [Cold Crush Brothers], Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation [Universal Zulu Nation], Kurtis Blow, Busy.$$Busy Bee.$$Yeah. All of the rappers yeah all of the rappers Kool Herc [DJ Kool Herc] everybody before Run-DMC started this. Run-DMC's role in this was this on the record 'My Adidas' when we did the record 'My Adidas,' I said what Run-DMC did, "We took the beat from the street and put it on TV for the world to see." That was our role in this. We didn't start it. We came--everything Run-DMC does and did was what everybody before us was doing. But our role in this fell right in the timeslot of where were we--our role was to be the ones to present it to the world. But once we did that, you gotta think about it, once we did that, we showed that there could be diversity and uniqueness in this music. It didn't all have to be--in the beginning it was considered black ghetto music, is what hip hop was. And every record was about life in the ghetto, growing up in the ghetto, the struggles of this and that. Me personally I knew in the dirt poor ghetto there was good things going on. That's why I rhymed about family, that's why I rhymed about school, that's why I rhymed about eating chicken and collard greens. Everything did have to be my father's a pimp and pusher and this and that, he shot them and this and that, it didn't have to be about the dark bad things. You could rhyme about the good, but that being said, what Run-DMC did was allow for De La Soul, Public Enemy, Fat Boys [The Fat Boys], Naughty by Nature, A Tribe Called Quest, Slick Rick, you know what I'm saying, N.W.A. [Niggaz Wit Attitudes] even we allowed for everybody to bring what it is they wanted to present in a universal way you know what I'm saying. I think that one of the things that we, we can be untouched in is our show was always authentic hip hop. Meaning we never had dab machines, we never had props, we never had dancers. It was Run, Run-DMC just wanted to be the best deejay and emcees that you ever saw. I think we accomplished that but we didn't start it, we just showed that this is the starting point but you could go any place that you want to with it. But over the years, a lot of the business has diluted and polluted our culture. I'm not talking about music making, we created hip hop so that our, the viewer or the listener or the partaker in it could realize they didn't have to only be those circumstances that they come from. Now hip hop says it's cool to be a gangsta, it's cool to be a thug; it's cool to sell drugs. No those are things that people did because they thought they had no other alternatives. You know I got dudes that come up to me and say, "Yo D [HistoryMaker Darryl "DMC" McDaniels] just because you said it, just because you said you went to St. John's University [Queens, New York] and went to school I had dropped out of high school. I didn't think a diploma was important. But because you said it that's its cool to have that I went and got a GED [General Educational Development] just so I can say I got on glasses, I got on a gold chain, I got on Adidas and I got a GED too, that's part of that package." So I think that's what Run-DMC did, we made positive, positivity gangsta. [HistoryMaker] Wyclef Jean once said DMC is the only emcee that can rhyme about chicken and collard greens, St. John's University and Christmas and make it gangsta. That's what we did you know what I'm saying, we didn't brag about selling drugs, we didn't brag about having sex, we didn't brag about how many guns we had. We, we rapped about how many sneakers we had and where those sneakers went. It's different saying I got money and I got more sneakers than you. We talked about the places those sneakers went, which is more deeper than just talking about I got this and I got that. It's where can this all go. So Run-DMC showed where hip hop could go.

Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese

Hip Hop Pioneer Kool Moe Dee was born Mohandas DeWese on August 8, 1963, in New York City. His early music career began at Norman Thomas High School in the late 1970s. Having grown up in Manhattan, DeWese was an early favorite at block parties in Harlem performing with high school buddies L.A. Sunshine and Special K plus DJ Easy as the Treacherous Three. After receiving his high school diploma, he attended the State University of New York at Old Westbury and graduated with his B.A. degree in communications.

In 1978, The Treacherous Three was officially formed. An introduction to Bobby Robinson by Spoonie G led to the Treacherous Three's debut on wax in 1980 with “The New Language of Rap.” The single was released on Robinson’s Enjoy Records. In 1981, two more singles followed, “Body Rock” and “Feel the Heart” before the group’s contract was sold to Sugar Hill Records. The Treacherous Three split up in the mid-1980s after recording several singles for Sugar Hill Records.

For his solo debut, DeWese enlisted an unknown producer, seventeen-year-old Teddy Riley. “Go See the Doctor” followed and became an underground hit. By 1986, Kool Moe Dee was signed to Jive Records, and his self-titled debut album appeared that same year. In 1987, with an album entitled, How Ya Like Me Now, DeWese went platinum and was followed in 1989 by the gold certified Knowledge Is King, for which he became the first rapper to perform at the Grammy Awards ceremonies. Also in 1989, DeWese worked on several important projects including the single "Self-Destruction," and Quincy Jones' all-star Back on the Block album, which united Hip Hop stars with their musical forebears. After moving to Los Angeles, DeWese appeared in several movies including Panther in 1995 and Crossroads in 2002.

Accession Number

A2005.253

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/6/2005 |and| 12/12/2005

Last Name

DeWese

Maker Category
Middle Name

"Kool Moe Dee"

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Norman Thomas High School

State University of New York at Old Westbury

First Name

Mohandas

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

DEW01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Amsterdam

Favorite Quote

It is what it is.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/8/1963

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Hip hop artist Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese (1963 - ) was the first rapper to perform at the Grammys. His 1987 album, How Ya Like Me Now, went platinum, and his 1989 album, Knowledge Is King, went gold.

Employment

Jive Records

Sugar Hill Records

BMG Records

Favorite Color

Purple, White

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his mother, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his mother, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his early family life

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his mother's ambitions

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls his mother's favorite television shows

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his father, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his father, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his ancestry and the origin of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his childhood peer group

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese remembers Harlem's hustler culture

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese shares his perspective on religion

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls his introduction to jazz music

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his early musical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his father's philosophical interests

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls his father's admiration for Malcolm X

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his admiration for Muhammad Ali

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the impact of the Black Panthers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese remembers the Fight of the Century

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese reflects upon societal beauty standards

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his dating experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese talks about external validation

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls his introduction to break beats

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes New York City's early hip-hop scene, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes Lovebug Starski

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes New York City's early hip-hop scene, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls seeing Lovebug Starski and Grandmaster Flash in Harlem

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the impact of Grandmaster Flash and his crew

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the origin of the term hip-hop

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his entry into hip-hop

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls performing at Norman Thomas High School

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese reflects upon the early hip-hop generation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese distinguishes between hustling and emceeing

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls boxing at the Police Athletic League

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the formation of the Treacherous Three, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the Treacherous Three

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls lunchroom performances at Norman Thomas High School

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese remembers his first performance with Special K

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls performing in the Bronx with the Treacherous Three

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the formation of the Treacherous Three, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes Spoonie Gee and the Treacherous Three

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese talks about Spoonie Gee

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese remembers the Treacherous Three's early recording sessions

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his classmates' response to 'New Rap Language'

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes Spoonie Gee's departure from Treacherous Three

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls hearing the Treacherous Three on the radio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls performing in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1980

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese compares the Treacherous Three to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his senior year at Norman Thomas High School

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls dropping out of Norman Thomas High School

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes passing the GED and applying for college

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the impact of his emcee battle with Busy Bee

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls hip-hop's growing popularity in the early 1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes changes in the genre of hip-hop

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls his time at State University of New York College at Old Westbury

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the 1980s music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the relationship between radio and hip-hop

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the release of 'Turn It Up'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes hip-hop successes in the mid-1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his solo comeback

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls Rakim's success in the mid-1980s

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese compares LL Cool J with other 1980s hip-hop artists

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese remembers meeting LL Cool J

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls LL Cool J's visit to his college dorm

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his album 'How Ya Like Me Now'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese recalls the Soul Train Music Awards

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his rap battle with LL Cool J

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his disagreement with Jive Records

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese talks about LL Cool J's rap battles

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese talks about historical revisionism

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese reflects upon the role of chance in his career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese shares his perspective of the music industry

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese shares his perspective on gangster rap

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese reflects upon social issues and hip-hop stardom

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese shares his hopes for the hip-hop community

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese reflects upon American politics

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the evolution of hip-hop culture, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the evolution of hip-hop culture, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the impact of Eminem's success for black hip-hop artists

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes racism in the entertainment industry

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes hip-hop's global impact

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the historical significance of hip-hop

DASession

1$2

DATape

1$4

DAStory

11$4

DATitle
Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes his childhood peer group
Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese describes the formation of the Treacherous Three, pt. 1
Transcript
What are your earliest memories of growing up in Harlem [New York, New York]?$$The earliest memories growing up in Harlem to me was the sense of community. I didn't--you didn't--I didn't know we were poor. You know, it takes a minute for that stuff to start, you know. You know, you don't really have anything, but as a child, you don't really need much. Dinner was there, it was fine. You could go outside and run. We're meeting new friends, you know, you're the new kid on the block. So, you have to go through that whole figuring out. You know, you walk in the park and see if you're going to get picked on. I mean, all of that stuff was natural. And like I said, because I was a thinking child, so to speak, I was like, okay, so how do you--you just got to do it, you got to just jump in. So, I would just jump in. "I got next." You know, it's who's the new guy saying he's got next, or whatever. So, I had heart, so to speak. And then, in the back of my father's [William DeWese] head, I attached that don't be a punk to so many things.$$What things did you attach it to?$$If I don't ask to get in this game, I'm being a punk. If I don't speak to the teacher about what I--I'm being a punk. So, don't be a punk meant always have the heart to represent yourself and speak your mind. So, at any point that I'm not saying what I need to say, I'm being a punk. So, you know, I can't come in the park--oh, damn, I'm intimidated. These guys are a little bigger, uh, oh. That's being a punk. All right. And I would just start up. It was so--it's why every fight that I had when I was younger was usually with somebody bigger and older. Now this is my filter, because I'm starting--like I said, we talked a little earlier, and I'll break that down, too, about the ego. My ego, which I didn't even know what that was at the time, understood early, what embarrassment was. I would have not been able to take losing a fight to somebody my size, so I strategically only fought people older and bigger. So, therefore, if I ever lost, I had a built-in reason--he's bigger, he's older, he's stronger. I was supposed to lose. However, the other side is, if I win this fight, I've actually conquered the giant, and this is going to be the one that's for self-esteem, which I didn't know what self-esteem was at the time. But this is my young thought process. So, going through that in childhood, it's almost like the peer group of friends, which was kind of strange. They used to call us, we were the middle guys. We weren't the nerds, quote unquote nerds, you know, the Poindexters. And you know it wasn't computers at that time, but it's so funny how the black community tries to, at that time especially, associate intelligence with nerd, and ignorance with cool, and I really hated that, too. I was like, okay, I'm as smart as the guys in the front of the class, and I'm as cool as the guys in the back of the class. But what really makes those guys in the back of the class cool? Okay, well they don't do their homework and they're not that smart, so to speak. But then, it might be circumstantial. Maybe the work is not hard, but he's hungry. You know, I started figuring that stuff out, again, at seven and eight, nine, definitely by ten. And for me, it was like, but I don't want to hang with the quote, unquote nerd guys because I'm not rushing home to do my homework, but I'm not staying out too late to not do it, either. We're--I'm right in the middle. So, my little core group was smart enough to do that, and cool enough to do that. So, that was the balance. And even the name, "Kool Moe Dee" [HistoryMaker Mohandas "Kool Moe Dee" DeWese]--when hip-hop started six years later for me, from nine and ten, the choice of saying cool was about, it was about rebellion again. What you're calling cool is not cool. I'm actually cool. No drugs, no alcohol, no drinking. I definitely--you know, principles--I'll fight, I speak, whatever. And I'm actually intelligent, and I'm going to make intelligence cool, that's what cool is. So that was where the name even started from years later.$Oh, he emcees, or whatever. And Spoonie [Spoonie Gee] was actually shy. And right at that time, there was this kind of like soul-mate kind of connection with Spoonie. I befriended him. His mother passed when he was thirteen, and he hadn't gotten over it by this time. He's sixteen now. So, he's talking about it, and it's like he's almost in tears every day. I'm like, "What is--?" And he had a--Spoonie Gee is one of the few emcees--Spoonie Gee, Doug E. Fresh, Heavy D--to me, those are emcees that basically have what I call the likeability factor. They're non-threatening, they're proficient at what they do, and everybody loves their energy. Spoonie, he's one of the first to battle where--he's not talking about battling, he's not talking about being better than you. He's talking about loving women and having a good time with them. And that was his emcee style. So, he's the first quote, unquote love rapper, and women loved it. I mean, "He's such a teddy bear, he's so cute, he's this, he's that." And he's got this thing under him where he's basically in pain because he hasn't adjusted to his mother's death. So, we become good friends or whatever. We go up in the neighborhood and I introduce him and LA Sunshine or whatever, and my other deejay, who's another guy that went to school [Norman Thomas High School for Business and Commercial Education, New York, New York]--that I grew up with, DJ Easy Lee, who actually is the person who let me rhyme first. Because you know, that's the other thing. If the deejay had a system, they had to invite you to rhyme on the mic. And because I was Lee's friend, DJ Easy Lee, who's my official deejay--Dano B was the first deejay for me--but DJ Easy Lee is the official deejay that I actually had and got notoriety and popularity with. And Lee brought the equipment down to this little club, and I got on, and it was like, "Wow, he can really rhyme." And you know, we had a little balance thing there. And Spoonie also knew Lee before he knew me. So, it was almost like, "Oh, you know Spoonie, too?" And then I was like, okay, brainstorm. We need to be a crew, we should do this thing or whatever, and I came up with the name Treacherous Three. And that was strictly because Furious Five [Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five], Funky Four [Funky 4 + 1]--"Oh, well it has to be like a double consonant thing at the top, okay. It's three of us, so, what's going to go with three?" Terrible-- ah, that's not good. Terrific--ah, that's corny. Treacherous--ah yeah, that sounds (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Treacherous.$$--that sounds menacing (laughter). We need something menacing. Treacherous, we're the Treacherous Three. So that's, you know, I came up with the name. It was Spoonie Gee, LA Sunshine and myself.