Hip-hop heads, did you know that the legendary live battle between Treacherous Three rapper, Kool Moe Dee, and Busy Bee Starski was a pivotal moment for lyricism in hip-hop?

During a live set at the Harlem World in 1981, Busy Bee Starki was performing his usual routine – rocking the crowd, getting everybody hype and calling out names. Unfortunately for Busy Bee, one of the names he called out – Kool Moe Dee – was standing in the venue that day and wasn’t going to let him slide for the diss.

As a member of the Treacherous Three, Kool Moe Dee was legendary in the hip-hop community for his sharp wit and lethal rhyming skills designed to crush any opponent. On the other hand, Busy Bee was more of a party MC, known for his somewhat gibberish rhymes and ability to get the crowd going.

Once Busy Bee was done with his set, Kool Moe Dee hopped on to the stage and tore into Busy Bee with an incredible freestyle.

The art of rap was never same after that day. It was out with the party rocking MC and in with the new, lyrical MC. Any battle since that day – from MC Shan vs. KRS-One to Nas vs. Jay-Z – is a direct result of that fateful night in Harlem World. You can thank Kool Moe Dee, one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time.

Check out the audio footage of the legendary battle below.

Written by Hao Nguyen
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