EWA100 - #80. Kool Moe Dee - Wild Wild West

80. Kool Moe Dee - Wild Wild West (Jive. 1987. From the LP How Ya Like Me Now)

Mike Dikk: I don’t think I need to point out that any rap song made about the wild west or cowboys is only good in the same way a person might find Weekend At Bernie’s good. In this song, the Wild West is more of a metaphor for the ‘hood, but it doesn’t matter. This song is ridiculous and Kool Moe Dee always looked ridiculous to me. Even when rappers were wearing battle armor and go go boots, those elderly person sunglasses still ranked higher on my Ridiculous Fashion Statement scale, not to mention the pillbox leather hat.
Kool Moe Dee was a really good rapper when all other rappers still sucked and rapped “cat” with “fat” on the regular. Unfortunately, he lived off that fame for a while and even got people well into the 1990s believing he was some amazing lyricist. I’m not even sure how there was any doubt who won the entire LL/Moe Dee battle. Even at that point in time, LL was light years ahead of Moe Dee. I’m sure some old people might disagree with me, but I am still (barely) young enough to stick my middle finger in the face of elders and ignorantly disrespect the past.

Raven Mack: You know, I never dug Kool Moe Dee, even back then. And as an adult dork into the history of the hipping hopple, I downloaded that freestyle shit, or heard it on a mixtape or something, and yeah, it was great for that time period. But seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Kool Moe Dee. I have a hard time remembering he's alive, since he's been obscure for so damned long, and also whenever I see one of those "Heaven Needed a Driver - R.I.P. #3" camouflage Dale Earnhardt t-shirts on some redneck dude at the flea market, I usually immediately conjure up an image of actual dead Dale Earnhardt and Kool Moe Dee up in heaven, having a fistfight, because heaven only has one pair of all-white heaven-style blu-blockers or weedeater sunglasses or whatever the fuck those two dudes had wrapped around their faces.
Also, yeah, wild west and black urban culture... people keep trying to come with that theme and it always comes off stupid. There was that black western with Big Daddy Kane by one of them Van Peebles dudes, and even Sadat X had that "Black Cowboy" song which was okay, I guess, but probably because that was when hip hop was starting to get stained with the bling-bling shiny suit syndrome of Bad Boy-ism. And the parallel is kinda stupid, the thinking being, "Yo, lots of people have guns and shoot them... I KNOW! IT'S JUST LIKE THE WILD WEST!" I think in the real wild west, most people had scabies and typhus and a mess of chores. I guess in 1987, that was mad clever though. And I guess if people thought a loud guy in a leather fez with Stihl protective eyewear on was clever, the wild west metaphor for urban life was like Shakespeare on acid.

Download: Kool Moe Dee - Wild Wild West

The actual video isn't on Youtube, so here's Kool Moe Dee performing the song on Soul Train: