Rudy Ray Moore: The Godfather of Rap and the Citizen Kane of Kung Fu Movies

Logan Ackerman, Editor














Dolemite is the stage name of Rudy Ray Moore, the shocking and outrageous entertainer who impacted so much of the magical worlds of music, comedy and film. He was successful integrating comedy in music and film, pushing the envelope with shock value, attempting to move away from traditional forms of entertainment. Starting his career in 1950 when he was drafted in the military, Moore served as a member of the military entertainment unit, where he sang and did stand up comedy routines for the troops (Chang)


After leaving the military, he tried to start his music career but only succeeded in working at an L.A record store called Dolphin’s Of Hollywood. During this time, a weekly customer named Rico would show up at the store, telling stories in rhyme about an outrageous alter-ego named Dolemite. Rudy was so intrigued and amused by the stories that he recorded some of the tales, which eventually turned into a standup comic routine (Chang).


Rudy started doing musical standup routines in the early 70s. He would tell jokes in rhyme while music played in the background. This was one of the starting points in hip hop and rap. The approach caught on and attracted audiences.


As a result, Moore tried getting record deals, but still no one would offer him a contract; the music was too explicit, too raunchy for radio and the contemporary standards of etiquette. With this issue, Rudy decided to sell the records “under the counter.” Moore was gaining a fanbase through the spread of his albums, doing live shows, and making more albums. 


With his profits, Rudy funded a movie version of Dolemite in 1975, which developed a cult following, causing a major chain reaction, and spawning more films over the years. Dolemite broke ground in the blaxploitation film scene, and tested boundaries, exploring sex, violence, and vulgar language, ultimately being dubbed the “best bad movies” and hailed as the Citizen Kane of bad kung fu movies (Chang).


Gaining the nickname The Godfather of Rap, Moore influenced many artists and rappers today including like The Beastie Boys, Snoop Dog, Dr. Dre. In a song from 2006, Snoop Dog stated, “Without Rudy Ray Moore, there would be no Snoop Dogg, and that’s for real.” Moore had a signature line and catchphrase he would use after ending every live show he did, “Dolemite is my name, and rappin’ and tappin’ – that’s my game. I’m young and free and just as bad as I wanna be” (Chow).


Works Cited


Title: Who Was Rudy Ray Moore, the Godfather of Rap?

Author: Rachel Chang



Access date:  February 11th, 2020 

Publisher: Biography 

Last updated/Published: August 13th, 2019

Chang, Rachel. “Who Was Rudy Ray Moore, the Godfather of Rap?”, A&E Networks Television, 13 Aug. 2019,


Title: Rappers Reflect on the Enduring Hip-Hop Legacy of Dolemite Comedian Rudy Ray Moore

Author:  Andrew R. Chow



Access date: February 11th, 2020

Publisher:  TIME

Last updated/Published: October 26, 2019

Chow, Andrew R. “Rappers on the Legacy of Rudy Ray Moore, A.k.a. Dolemite.” Time, Time, 26 Oct. 2019,



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