Melle Mel says he appreciates Macklemore including him and fellow Rap pioneers Grandmaster Caz and Kool Moe Dee in the video for “Downtown,” which has received criticism.

“He’s a good dude,” Melle Mel says to XXL. “He’s a real dude and he’s a friend to Hip Hop.”

The former Sugar Hill Records emcee says that Macklemore was the only rapper to reach out to the legends.

“I know for a fact that J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar or Rick Ross or Jay Z or any of these cats, they would not have done it, ever,” Melle Mel says. “They would not have done it. It took him to do it. And all those other so-called ‘real cats,’ they should hang their heads because somebody should have done it by now. They could have reached back to any of us. If you’re making records and you say you’re Hip Hop, you’re supposed to have a connection to what Hip Hop really is. And nobody made that connection until Macklemore made the connection. And I’ve had this conversation quite a few times since everything happened and had that little controversy of, yeah, the White boy, using the OGs, or blah blah blah. And like I said, none of those other guys would have ever done it. And it’s a shame that that’s the reality of what the game is right now.”

Last week, Kool Moe Dee detailed the collaboration to HipHopDX and said that Macklemore reached out to Big Daddy Kane to get the rappers together. Kool Moe Dee said Macklemore anticipated the backlash for the track.

“I think it was just a masterful, smart kind of move,” Kool Moe Dee says. “He knew he was going to get some kind of flack from it. In his mind, there’s always going to be haters no matter what. There will be a segment of the population that will just be happy to just see us and say that was a good look and a good move. Then there would be people that would even look at us as sell-outs or him as reaching. They’re going to put their spin on it. What they do. He was very, very cognizant of what was happening. Once we had that conversation, I’m like, ‘I’m with it.’ We talked for two hours before they even played the beat. That’s how serious they are about making sure that we knew what we were talking about or what we were doing.”

For additional Macklemore coverage, watch the following DX Daily:

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