Comic 'Dolemite' Leaves Mark On Hip-Hop

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Actor Rudy Ray Moore, creator and star of the classic Dolemite films, poses in Las Vegas, Nev., back in 2005. Ethan Miller, Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Comedian and actor Rudy Ray Moore, best known for his 70s big screen character Dolemite, has died at 81. His raunchy material kept him from going mainstream, but he changed hip-hop music forever.

Mr. RUDY RAY MOORE: (Rapping) Dolemite is my name, and rapping and tapping is my game. When it comes down to rapping, I was through with it before you learned what to do with it.


Rudy Ray Moore was best known for his rapping, bad-man alter ego, Dolemite. The comedian died Sunday in Akron, Ohio from complications of diabetes. He was 81. He began as an R&B singer. He turned to making comedy records during the '60s and '70s. He was often compared to Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx, but his racy and explicit material kept him from going mainstream. In the '70s, Rudy Ray Moore starred in several so-called Blaxploitation films. In 1975, he was the fierce fighting, no-nonsense pimp in the film, "Dolemite."

Mr. MOORE: If you crave satisfaction, this is the place to find that action. Coming to this theater, as its next attraction, is a picture that will put you in traction. Dolemite.

CHADWICK: Ten years later, Rudy Ray's work was revived as more than a dozen rap stars, including Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and 2 Live Crew, began quoting his lines and sampling his albums. His elaborate, rhyming toasts have led many rap artists to crown him one of the godfathers of hip-hop music.

Mr. MOORE: And I'd like to leave you with this. I've been known to rise up, but I cool down later. I'm the bad motor scooter. I'm the human tornado.

(Soundbite of cheering and applause)

Mr. MOORE: Dolemite is my name, and I'm out of this mother (bleep).

(Soundbite of music)

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Related NPR Stories



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from