Legendary comedian Rudy Ray Moore, known for his portrayal of the cult character Dolemite and for proclaiming himself as the “Godfather of Rap,” passed away over the weekend.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the 81-year old comedian died on Sunday (October 19) in Toledo, Ohio, due to complications from diabetes.. Known for being more of an cult icon with his unique rhyming and explicit word usage, Moore was respected by an assortment of rappers.
“People think of black comedy and think of Eddie Murphy,” Luther Campbell previously told the Miami Herald. “They don’t realize [Moore] was the first, the biggest underground comedian of them all. I listened to him and patterned myself after him.”
Beginning as an R&B singer and later releasing multiple comedy records throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Moore is best known for Dolemite films. He has also worked with hip-hop acts including an appearance on Big Daddy Kane‘s Taste of Chocolate album in 1990 and starring in the Insane Clown Posse‘s Big Money Hustlas from 2000.
Moore, who has released 30 comedy albums and starred in over 15 films, reminded audiences in a previous interview of his own talent over modern-day stand-up acts.
“These guys Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac claim they’re the Kings of Comedy,” he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “They may be funny, but they ain’t no kings. That title is reserved for Rudy Ray Moore and Redd Foxx.