Hip-hop pioneer Melle Mel, who along with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 broke ground with the classic 1982 cut “The Message,” has reinvented himself as Big Melle a.k.a. Arnold Schwarzanigga.

Big Melle has teamed up with young West Coast based rapper Rondo to form the duo Die Hard, who will drop their debut album, On Lock, sometime this July. While Big Melle is happy to be in the new group, he is quick to explain that this is not a comeback attempt for him.

“People who know me from what I was doing before are probably going to be thrown off,” Mel explained in a press statement. “They’ll think I’m just trying to make a comeback. I don’t sound the same way; people may not even know it’s me on the record. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into who the public thinks I am. I want people to feel the whole new vibe I’m trying to give off.”