Kool G Rap and DJ Polo

December 15, 2008

Road to the Riches

Streets of New York

Nathaniel Wilson (born July 20, 1968), better known by his stage name Kool G Rap, is an American hardcore rapper from the Corona section of Queens, New York. He began his career in the mid-1980s as one half of the group Kool G Rap & Polo, and also as a member of the Juice Crew, who were involved in The Bridge Wars.


Wilson began working with DJ Polo in 1986, releasing several underground hit singles including “It’s a Demo”/”I’m Fly”. Two other singles, “Streets of New York” and “Road to the Riches” (which borrows a sample from Billy Joel’s “Stiletto”), received heavy rotation on Yo! MTV Raps and cemented his reputation as one of New York’s top lyrical auteurs. His talent for telling a compelling, hard-luck story in a single song was considered second to only that of Rakim.


Kool G Rap is considered a legendary golden age and mafioso rapper. He is also considered one of the most influential rappers ever. Early in his career, Kool G Rap’s (short for “Kool Genius of Rap”) hallmark was his rapid-fire, multisyllabic delivery. He trademarked the ability to rhyme the same syllables in the same combinations, though with different words, for a whole verse. This style is mostly apparent on the 1990 album Wanted: Dead or Alive, on such songs as “Play It Again, Polo”, “Jive Talk”, and “Kool is Back”.


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