Melle Mel is giving props to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for paying homage to hip hop’s past in their "Downtown” music video and blasting other rappers that have yet to do so. In an interview with XXL, the 54-year-old rap pioneer called out Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Jay Z and Rick Ross for what he views as dishonoring the culture.
The critique came when Mel was informed of Macklemore’s Grammy controversy last year, which he wasn’t aware of when he made a cameo in the Seattle rapper’s music video. “At the end of the day, it turned out to be that he was trying to get to that next level, and that goes back to what I’m saying; the authentication thing,” Mel said of criticism Macklemore fended off after winning Best Rap Album. “It was a planned move; he had a plan and the plan worked. What I’m gonna say from here on in is that he’s a good dude, he’s a real dude and he’s a friend to hip hop.”
He then called out Lamar, Cole, Hov and Rozay. “They would not have done it. It took him [Macklemore] 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,” he continued. “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. 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. 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.”
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(Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
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