In almost unbearably sad news, Rudy Ray Moore, one of my personal heroes, died on Friday of complications from Diabetes. He was 81. The self-proclaimed King of the party records and Godfather of rap, Moore's rhyming, rhythmic comedy routines and unapologetic raunchiness proved a huge influence on the development of Hip Hop.

Moore made the leap from X-rated comedy albums to the big screen with 1975's self-financed Dolemite, an utterly singular pop culture landmark that introduced Moore as a sort of alternate universe blaxploitation hero: pudgy, goofy-looking and middle-aged where his contemporaries were young and sleek but wildly charismatic all the same. Moore had a unique delivery where he a-cen-tu-ated every syllable in a strangely hypnotic fashion so that a classic line like "Doctor, what is this angel dust?" (from Avenging Disco Godfather) became "Doc-Tah. Wh-ut isa thisa an-gel dust-ah?"

Even in the outrageous, larger-than-life world of blaxploitation Moore stood out like a pimp at a Promise Keeper's rally. In the mid to late seventies he appeared in one cult classic after another: the 1976 Dolemite sequel The Human Tornado, 1977's Petey Wheatstraw and the 1979 masterpiece Avenging Disco Godfather, an endlessly rewatchable disco-comedy-drama-message-movie-musical that combined disco music with ham-fisted anti-PCP sloganeering.

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Moore didn't really make comedies or dramas: he was a genre onto himself. His movies were vaudeville-style reviews combining just about everything: sex and comedy and kung fu fighting and primitive special effects and dancing and anything else Moore thought his fans might dig. The commercial failure of the PG-rated crossover attempt Avenging Disco Godfather put an abrupt end to Moore's cinematic golden age. But Moore's career experienced a major revival when a veritable who's who of Hip Hop elite adopted him as a spiritual and creative godfather. The music video for Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Got Your Money" even digitally added the Wu-Tang lunatic's face onto scenes from Dolemite to great effect. Peep the science:

Interviewing Moore was one of the highlights of my career. Please do check this shit out] As a teenager I was obsessed with Moore. I used to wear a name tag at Blockbuster that read "Human Tornado" and called my boss Petey Wheatstraw, the Devils' Son in Law. He did not find it terribly amusing.

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Please do feel free to spread the Dolemite love by sharing your favorite lines/moments from Moore's brilliant career. Lastly, put your weight on it! Put your weight on it, put your weight on it, put your weight on it!