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2. Kool Moe Dee Versus Busy Bee Starski

In 1981, at the industry-famous Harlem World, 129 Lennox Avenue in Manhattan, Kool Moe Dee and Busy Bee Starski created one of the first emcee battles. This set the foundation for the rivalry and competitive-sport aspect of hip-hop we’ve come to love over the decades. Busy Bee was the emcee who could rock the party and hype a crowd, an artist with entertainment at the heart of everything he did.

Kool Moe Dee, on the other hand, was the emcee infatuated with rhyming, and the more likely to prevail on wax. Kool Moe Dee won that battle, and inadvertently changed history. In the words of the great KRS-One, “If Kool Moe Dee had have lost that battle, nothing we’re saying today would be said … It would not exist.”

Image: Getty/Michael Ochs Archives

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