Obituaries

Dolemite, RIP

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Rudy Ray Moore, the lost bridge between blue comedy and gangsta rap, is dead. Darius James called one of his movies "ghetto surrealism"; I'll call his films the most wonderfully weird products of the blaxploitation era. Rest in peace, you Avenging Disco Godfather. We will not see your likes again.

Warning: That video is NSFW. But would that have stopped Dolemite from watching it? Hell, no.

NEXT: Heat on PBS Tonight

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  1. dolemite is the sweetest shit ever.

    i defy anyone to get drunk and watch that movie and not want to kill yourself. compared to dolemite, your life is meaningless. more so.

  2. The greatest stand up comedian ever, and the only funny one.I’m going to listen to his version of the Stagger Lee folktale in mourning.

    Mr Moore will be missed.

  3. Being somewhat of a film buff, I watched one of his movies. So awful it was…awful. But still hilarious. Just the missed cues were wackily silly –
    Dolemite “I’m gonna kick your ass”
    …pause
    …pause
    …pause
    Rogue honky cop ‘O yeah!!!’

    made me wonder how many missed lines there were.

  4. Interestingly there are no google hits for:

    “I fuck bitches that pay my rent,I don’t owe a livin’ soul a motherfuckin’ cent !”

    I’ve always aspired to that.

  5. Man move over and let me pass, ‘fore they have be to pullin’ these Hush Puppies out your muthafuckin’ ass!

    RIP, Rudy Ray.

  6. Yes stewardess, I speak jive.

  7. Here it is, I got the words slightly wrong.

    Stack-A-Lee

    The night was clear and the moon was yellow,
    And the leaves came tumblin’ down.
    I could hear my bulldog for five miles or more as he barked
    At the two notorious muthafuckas gamblin’ in the dark.
    It was Stack-a-Lee and Billy, two men who gambled late.
    Stack-a-Lee threw seven. Billy swore he threw eight.
    Billy said, “Stack, you takin’ my money, so get on yo knees and pray.
    With yo life, you gonna hafta pay.”
    Stack said, “Lame! Are you for real?”
    Said, “I want you to listen and listen well.
    I’m the bad muthafucka that drove the devil out of hell.
    I walked from New York to the deepest South
    Just to punch and son-of-a-bitch in his muthafuckin’ mouth!
    Mules has kicked me and didn’t bruise my hide!
    Rattlesnakes has bit me and crawled off and died.
    I can walk the desert sand and never leave a track,
    Fuck the hump out of a camel’s back!
    I caught the devil’s wife shovelin’ coal,
    And broke my big looooong black off in her hot asshole.
    I got great big hands and great big feet.
    I’d rather do a muthafucka in that sit down and eat.
    I fucked bitches and paid my rent,
    I don’t owe a livin ass a muthafuckin’ cent.
    So muthafucka, can’t you see?
    I pity the son-of-a-btich that fucks with me!”
    Billy said, “Well man, you standin’ up herre rapping from ’bout 1 to 3.
    Why don’t you cool down a little bit and listen to my life’s pedigree.
    As a kid, pistols, knives and blackjacks was my only toys.
    To fuck up bad muthafuckas like you was my pride and joy.
    When I was born I knew how to talk,
    At three days old I could run and walk.
    I started to school at the age of one,
    And made ice cubes out the hot, boiling sun.
    I’m the one that made the elephants roost in trees,
    And had the muthafuckin’ ants wearin’ BVDs.
    I swim the Pacific and never got wet.
    Walked through Hell and didn’t even sweat.
    Pulled all of the hairs off of a dog named Speedy,
    Stood back 25 feet and pissed through the eyes of a needle.
    I slapped sawdust out of pine.
    I’m a bad muthafucka and I don’t mind dyin’.”
    ‘Bout that time Billy made a fancy pass.
    Stack-a-Lee shot him dead in his ass.
    Fucked up his face, knocked out his teeth.
    And said, “Now muthafucka have you still got a beef?”
    Someon said, “Call the law!”
    Stack said, “I ain’t never been afraid of the law!
    I can look in a mirrow and beat my own self to the draw.”
    Here comes Billy’s wife, runnin’ and screamin’, “Oh is he dead?”
    Stack said, “Biiiitch! Is he dead?
    Can’t you see he got three bullets in his muthafuckin’ head?”
    She said, “Who committed this crime, may I ask please?”
    He said, “Me biiitch! And my name is Stack-A-Lee.”
    She said, “I heard of you Stack,
    But you betta not be here when the police get back.”
    I said, “Biiitch! I’ll be here when the world go past,
    And you can tell the police to kiss my muthafuckin’ ass!”
    About that time, the sargeant told the police
    To go and get your gun and come go with me.
    ‘Cause I got a warrant to arrest this bad nigga they call Stack-A-Lee.
    The police said, “You muthafuckas must be sick.
    Sargeant, tell the lieutenant to tell the captain to tell the chief to Yardy and have Yardy to call Regan ’cause I’m layin’ my gun back on the shelf.
    If y’all want this nigga called Stack-a-Lee, you’ll go and get him by yo muthafuckin’ self.”
    And if anybody asks you who told you this toast,
    Tell em it was Dolemite, the bad muthafucka known from coast to coast!

  8. That’s funnier than BET Network on a Sunday morning. Praise Jaysus!

  9. MADTV did a number of Dolemite skits, parodying the terrible acting, editing, lines, etc. Pretty funny.

  10. I’m honestly not trying to be an ass, but can somebody explain why this was posted on reason.com?

  11. I think the Stack-A-Lee transcription is flawed.
    “Yardy” refers to LA Mayor Sam Yorty
    “Regan” to then Governor Reagan.
    There are numerous other small discrepancies.
    I would recommend listening to it.

  12. Keep Dolemite Alive !!!

  13. can somebody explain why this was posted on reason.com?

    I can! Free minds and free markets and pop culture. It’s what the kids want these days.
    Now get off my lawn.

  14. I think the Stack-A-Lee transcription is flawed

    Relax. The Iliad it ain’t.

  15. Sorry folks … not impressed. Dimwitted and not as dynamic as it appears.

  16. Sorry folks … not impressed. Dimwitted and not as dynamic as it appears.

    Says the person who was quoting Ben Folds Five in another thread.

  17. Ben Folds Five is poetry compared to this pondwater. Smack yourself smacky . . .

  18. jk . . . could you not detect the friggin sarcasm!

  19. Meh. Proof that gangsta rap an its antecedents are just so much silly, puerile crap.

  20. Not that we should not take the negroes seriously.

  21. That’s Dolemite, baby! It won’t cop out when the heat’s about!

  22. “Meh. Proof that gangsta rap an its antecedents are just so much silly, puerile crap.”

    Dude! Ever heard of “comedy”? The market seems to dig it!

  23. I have a new hero to look up to!

  24. The violent nihilism of “black culture” is a direct consequence of the Great Society, the nanny state, and years of political correctness. Why is it that contemptable blacks can celebrate their race, while whites are only allowed to mock themselves?

    Read Jim Goad’s brilliant Redneck Manifesto for an incisive conservative view.

  25. I suspect that Jim Goad is a Dolemite fan. He is, at any rate, pals with Darius James, the Rudy Ray Moore aficionado who I quoted in my post. James even appears in the acknowledgements of The Redneck Manifesto.

    As for the roots of the “violent nihilism” you apparently see in Moore’s work: Moore was updating folkloric traditions that go back way before the Great Society or political correctness ever existed. Did you think “Staggerlee” and “The Signifying Monkey” were created after 1965? (And do you see no self-mockery in that Dolemite clip? Those movies were parodies of blaxploitation as much as anything else.)

  26. Somewhere in Rudy Ray Moore’s oeuvre is the background material for a really fun video game. It would piss people off too, which is always a plus in the game market.

  27. Meh. Proof that gangsta rap an its antecedents are just so much silly, puerile crap.

    One man’s silly puerile crap is another man’s treasure. I do think it’s absurd how critics of gangsta rap almost always manage to overlook the fact that the songs are supposed to be funny and entertaining.

  28. Jim Goad is almost certainly a Dolemite fan – he’s too funny and angry not to find something in there. The Redneck Manifesto is a book about class, not a “racial realist” treatise (although that perception has kept a lot of people away from it). More recently, he has fixated on race and IQ, but he rejects the easy conclusions drawn by a lot of his casual fans. He is bored by conservatism and utterly hateful toward liberals. Sounds like a straight-up libertarian to me.

  29. But keep going. I’m sure Dolemite would be pleased that he’s irritating the guardians of white purity from beyond the grave.

  30. Did you think “Staggerlee” and “The Signifying Monkey” were created after 1965?

    Likely yes. People have very little appreciation for roots.

  31. This guy gets a full RIP and Norman Whitfield nary a mention at the Reason shop. O tempora, o mores!

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