Motor City Cribs 

Detroit emcee Moe Dirdee has a busy year ahead. He just dropped the mixtape Round 3 Talkin' Dirdee, and later this spring he's dropping another, The Fourth Letter (as in the D, get it?), and his album God Made Dirt is tentatively planned for May release. And then there's his (arguably) coolest effort, The Purple Project, Dirdee's collaboration with producer Black Milk, who has reworked seminal Prince beats for all the tracks — sometimes radically so.

And for what it's worth, there are a few places where you don't want to battle Dirdee: 1) at an emcee battle, 2) On Wii and 3) in the kitchen.

Yeah, in the kitchen. You should know that Dirdee is a former sous-chef. He got the cooking bug from his uncle Carter Noles (who's opening a soul food restaurant in Westland). What's interesting is that Dirdee (real name: Maurice Nelson. Moe Dirdee is short for Mark of Excellence Doing It Real Damn Efficient Everyday) found his hip-hop background helpful when it comes to the gas burners.

"Cooking is like rapping," Dirdee says. "When you're rocking three butane burners and you've got a line of a hundred people you have to be able to entertain them.

Dirdee's roommate is producer/MC Marvwon — they met back in 2000 at the Lush's legendary Wednesday hip-hop night — and when they're not playing chess, or battling it out with Dwele or Paradime on Wii bowling, the two can whip up mean meals. Marvwon handles the sides and Dirdee, with his greater culinary skills, the main course.

So what's Dirdee's best cooking advice?

"Once you know how to cook you know how to dazzle a new girl." Somewhere Anthony Bourdain is nodding his head.

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