Melle Mel has reacted to some of the backlash he has received for his comments on Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne.
The legendary rap star who is known for being the hip hop artist to raise the bar in the early days of the genre caught heat over his response to Billboard and Vibe Magazine’s Top 50 Rappers Ever list.
Rappers came to the defense of Eminem such as 50 Cent, Papoose, and Fat Joe. However, the pioneering rap artist jumped on his Hip Hop Corner podcast to dispel any misunderstanding on his viewpoints.
“Melle Mel has nothing against nobody in Hop Hop,” to start off his response to the backlash. “I’ve been in Hip Hop for 40 years. Very competitive, really have nothing against nobody. I’m not jealous of nobody, I’m not intimidated by anybody or anything, and I’m not bitter. I just come across as I come across ’cause I’m a man and I say what I say, and when I say what I say, basically, I mean what I say.”
He continued: “Everything that I said, that I commented on, it was to comment on what he wrote and who he put on this said list. And I think Billboard is not known for Hip Hop, of course, they’re known for records. So obviously, Billboard is more leaning toward guys that made records, compared to guys like myself that put in all the time in Hip Hop.
“We’re responsible for the genre. We’re the biggest influences in the genre, and if you ask anybody that knows anything about true Hip Hop, they will tell you that. If you ask anybody that calls themselves an MC, they will be the first to tell you that there is no modern day rap or Hip Hop of that nature if it wasn’t for Grandmaster Flash, if it wasn’t for the Furious Five, if it wasn’t for Melle Mel, if it wasn’t for [Keef] Cowboy.”
He reminded everyone where the origin of the genre’s name came from, “Like I said, the word ‘Hip Hop’ came from my crew.”
Melle Mel addresses backlash over his comments about Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne. pic.twitter.com/OQjnJ0sjOY
— The Art Of Dialogue (@ArtOfDialogue_) March 8, 2023
With setting up his place in the historical context of the genre, Melle Mel went on to describe how he is not a racist for his thoughts about Eminem. He alluded to Eminem’s past lyrics that mirrored his own thoughts.
“Onto the white elephant in the room, ‘Melle Mel said that Eminem is only number five on the list because he was white,’” he said. “And I guess that started the uproar. Everybody’s just so angry that I would say that. I’ve even been branded a racist, which is neither here nor there because that’s almost impossible.
“I’ve been playing for all different kinds of people all my life. That is so far off-kilt that I don’t understand. But Eminem made a record, I guess the album was ‘White America’ or the record was ‘White in America,’ where he said he wouldn’t be as popular if he wasn’t white.”
Melle Mel then brought up the fact Eminem put himself behind Redman, JAY-Z, 2Pac, Biggie, André 3000, Jadakiss, Kurupt and Nas.