Melle Mel has had a lot to say regarding the state of Hip Hop — both past and present — this time, revealing which rappers he believes were better suited as actors, than rappers.
In the latest segment from his conversation with The Art of Dialogue, the legendary Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five rapper suggested that the secret to becoming a successful actor — much like rapping — is to adopt a persona.
But he didn’t stop there. According to Melle Mel, some of Hip Hop’s legends were better actors than they ever were lyricists.
“I thought 2Pac was a better actor than he was a rapper. I thought he was a hell of an actor — than a rapper,” the Hip Hop pioneer began.
“I thought DMX was a better actor than he was a rapper — because it’s that persona and when you take a guy like that and you put them in front of a camera…”
He continued, “I mean DMX he was a pretty good actor. He could have just stayed within himself and been more dedicated to what he was doing.”
“Method Man he’s a good actor. Ludacris a good actor. Because it’s almost the same thing. If you got a persona it’s almost like you acting anyway,” he added, explaining that a stage persona or personality is much like a character an actor adopts in performance.
“So, when you put that same guy in front of the camera, there you go!” he added. “Mos Def, I thought he was a hell of an actor.”
In a previous segment, Melle Mel reacted to Billboard‘s recent list of the Top 50 Rappers of All Time – where Eminem landed at No. 5 – an accolade he believed he earned solely due to the color of his skin.
“Obviously he’s a capable rapper. If you was talking about sales, he’s sold more than everybody. If you were talking about rhyme style, okay he got a rhyme style. But he’s white. He’s white!,” began Melle Mel, who nabbed the 48th spot on the list.
“So now if Eminem was another n-gga like all the rest of us, would he be Top 5 on that list when a n-gga that could rhyme just as good as him is 35? That had records and all that? He’s 35. He’s white.”
He continued: “And anybody could be as mad … They could feel how they wanna feel. If you don’t think that race plays a part in the equation of how great he is — I heard one of the dudes that’s down with him, Royce Da 6’9″ [Royce Da 5’9″] or one of those – I heard he’s just as good as Eminem. Why he ain’t as big as Eminem? Because he’s Black! Ain’t none of that shit hard to figure out. Eminem gets a top spot because he’s white.”
Following backlash surrounding his comments from the likes of 50 Cent, who told Melle Mel to get the “fuck outta here,” while Fat Joe and Papoose also came to Slim Shady’s defence, the lyricist maintained his stance on the matter by stating he feels a responsibility to uphold the genre.
“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.”