Melle Mel has said that many of today’s most revered rappers, including Kendrick Lamar and Nas, aren’t great because they “talk a lot of shit.”
The latest inflammatory comments from the esteemed MC came during an interview with The Art Of Dialogue, during which he implied that rappers are to blame for society’s problems due to listeners putting too much stock into what they say.
“What did JAY-Z say that you could consider truly great? You just like the song,” Melle said. “As far as how I felt about Hip Hop, I’ve never liked what nobody was doing. I don’t even like the shit that I did after I did it. I’m trying to do some other shit.”
He continued: “It tarnishes the game and then it tarnishes society as well. Don’t take Hip Hop all that serious. The bottom line to all of this, whether you believe there’s one great MC or whether you believe that there’s 500 great MC’s, this is just some n-gga talking shit.
“This is just some n-gga talking shit and everybody is caught up in all that shit. JAY-Z, that n-gga can talk shit. Who’s the number two guy on that list? [Kendrick Lamar] is just another n-gga talking shit. I’m not gonna put him number two.
“[Nas] another n-gga talking shit…How you gonna take a n-gga talking shit that serious? Who is this n-gga and what has this n-gga done for you to take whatever has come out his mouth serious? That’s why the streets is fucked up.”
Melle Mel continued to question the “greatness” of Kendrick Lamar and Nas by pointing to their inability to solve the issues that plague their neighborhoods, despite their popularity.
“All these n-ggas’ neighborhoods is in shambles,” he said. “You can’t change your neighborhood, so where is the greatness involved? I understand the music part; I don’t understand the man part because I know for a fact the average dude, whatever he says on the record, he’s not taking it that literally and seriously.
“And all the while, out of all this so-called greatness and n-ggas talking shit, our kids can’t read. Our kids are failing in education. But they know every rhyme about this n-gga talking shit. Talking shit! These n-ggas talk a lot of shit. And everybody is more interested in that than the fact that our kids are failing because they listen to that.”
Melle Mel’s comments came in response to Billboard‘s recent Top 50 Rappers of All Time list, on which he was ranked No. 48.
In another segment from his lengthy Art of Dialogue interview, Mel again came for the Kendrick Lamar, who he conceded has made some good songs, but claimed they “don’t translate into the street part of Hip Hop.”
“I don’t know what records he made like that,” he said. “I might know one or two of them, but I don’t think you even hear Kendrick in the club like that.”
Melle Mel also noted that while his legendary group Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five helped inspire conscious rap, he believes today’s lyrical rappers like K. Dot don’t carry the same influence in the rap game.
“Nobody wants to rap like Kendrick Lamar. Nobody wants to rap like Eminem,” he continued. “A lot of people wanted to rap, like ‘Pac and Biggie.”