Tuesday, May 18, 2021

"Wild Wild West" by Kool Moe Dee

Song#:  3497
Date:  04/30/1988
Debut:  94
Peak:  62
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rap, Hip-Hop

Pop Bits:  Kool Moe Dee's 1986 self-titled debut album sold well getting to #23 R&B and #83 Pop. It was supported by the popular track "Go See the Doctor," which got on the Pop chart at #89. By the end of '87, his second album, How Ya Like Me Now, was ready for release. The title track would be issued out as the first single and it became his first song to make the R&B chart reaching #22. For a follow-up, this next track was released. It did even better becoming Kool Moe Dee's first R&B Top 10 at #4. The tune's popularity spread over to the Pop chart where it spent nearly three months. It would also earn Kool Moe Dee a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance. The hit helped the album sell and it would get to #4 R&B and #35 Pop. By November of '88, it would turn platinum. His third album, 1989's Knowledge Is King, would feature three R&B Top 20 hits including the #3 "They Want Money." None of the singles would reach the Pop chart. The LP would get to #2 R&B/#25 Pop and go gold. Kool Moe Dee would record two more solo albums that were far less successful before going on to other projects.

ReduxReview:  It only took about 15 seconds to get vested in this track. The title hook, the Good/Bad/Ugly theme whistle, the beat, the sound effects, and the big slaps/snare quickly grabbed your attention even before Kool Moe Dee enters. He then takes control and drives the song even further. It was another winner for the rapper and it should have easily made the Pop Top 40. All I can think of as to why it didn't was reluctance from pop radio to play rap. I'm also guessing that the video didn't get much support from MTV. The tune got a little bit of attention later on via a shitty movie and its awful theme song (see below), but hopefully folks went back to discover the far, far better original "Wild Wild West" (both the Kool Moe Dee track and the 60s TV show).

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In 1999, Will Smith would star in the big budget Western/action/comedy film Wild Wild West with Kevin Kline. It was loosely based on the popular 1960s TV show. For the film, Smith recorded a theme song that was also titled "Wild Wild West." The track would use samples from Kool Moe Dee's "Wild Wild West" and Stevie Wonder's 1976 #1 hit "I Wish." Kool Moe Dee would also be a guest on the song along with Dru Hill. The single, which appeared on the associated soundtrack album and was the lead single from Smith's second album Willennium, reached #1 Pop and #3 R&B. It would go gold. It was Smith's third and final #1 on the Pop chart. The soundtrack would reach #4 Pop/#4 R&B and go double-platinum. Smith's album would get to #5 Pop/#8 R&B and also go double-platinum. The film was highly panned by critics and while it did make over $113 million at the box office, that was far below expectations especially since it cost over $170 million to make. An additional $100 million from overseas showings helped the film barely break even. The movie was nominated for eight Golden Raspberry Awards. It would win five including Worst Picture and Worst Song for Smith's title track. Someone else who wasn't a fan of the movie was the TV show's star Robert Conrad. To put a point on his disapproval, Conrad showed up at the Golden Raspberry ceremony to accept three of the awards on behalf of the film.


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