Legendary MC’s Have an Issue with Lack of Hip Hop History From Today’s Rappers, Calls Out Jay-Z and Others

| September 9, 2015 | 0 Comments
Melle Mel

Melle Mel

Hip Hop legends and pioneers Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane and Kool Moe Dee have bone to pick with some of the artists in the game today. They sat down with XXL and delivered a message, pun intended, for the rappers today. The following quote is Melle Mel is referring to the MTV Video Music Awards performance with Macklemore:

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…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. 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.

Big Daddy Kane was actually the one behind the scenes that was able to connect Grandmaster Caz, Melle Mel and Kool Moe Dee together for the Mackelmore performance.


Kane feels that there is not enough credit given back to the people who created the art form in the first place.

In respect to what Mel is saying, whenever a new artist reaches out and says that they want a legend on their song, they’re normally talking about Jay Z or Nas. If they use the term “Old School artist,” they’re normally talking about me, Rakim or Kool G Rap, somebody like that. What this brother did was he reached out to the real legends. Because [when] we talk about people like myself, Rakim, Jay Z, Nas, you’re talking about the Charlie Wilson’s, Teddy Pendergrass’, the Michael Jackson’s of the game, the people who came into something that already existed and took it to a different level. When you’re talking about Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Caz, you’re talking about the Ray Charles’, Quincy Jones’ of the game. We’re talking about the inventors. And no other rapper in this current era of hip-hop has done that: reached back to the people that invented this thing that everybody else is getting paid off and paying homage this way.

The performance has been looked at as Macklemore trying to pander to the hip hop community. The feelings are inline to when he posted the text message on Instagram that he sent Kendrick Lamar after Macklemore beat him for Best Rap Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Macklemore felt that Kendrick should have won and would have been a more effective text if he kept it private.

Kool Moe Dee

Kool Moe Dee

Kool Moe Dee added his thoughts also added his thoughts about rappers not reaching back to the Grandmaster Caz of the world:

For me, it just said something about the consciousness. I think a lot of times we get lowered—and I do mean lowered—into a conversation that breaks things down either demographically based on age—and we have ageism—or race—there’s definitely racism—or sexism or classism. And the thing that we constantly underestimate and overlook is just the consciousness that is the real separation or alignment. And the fact that he reached out showed me—regardless of what anyone thinks about as him as an MC or an artist or a rapper or whatever—that his consciousness is at a stage where, at the very least, he’s thinking about things in a realm that has very little to do with whatever is hot or what the status quo is or going along with the flow…They got this ridiculous term called ‘relevance.’ And he basically understood—and what I would say everyone should understand—is that heat is not relevance. Heat is just heat.

There without a question a level of truth in all these quotes. The younger the fan of hip hop music, the less likely they seem to know the history of the genre. A situation that does not happen as frequently as in other forms of music. The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Rolling Stones, The Who, Elvis Presley all have their legacies preserved and you will hear or see them being honored in some way enough to know who they are and their importance.

In hip hop, it really is hard to say when is the last time either an artist or a special program showed loved to Kool Herc, Sugar Hill Gang, Rakim, to just name a few of the many hip hop icons that do not seem to get their credit. While it may be unfair to call out specific rappers saying that they would never pay homage because they have yet to, there is an obvious oversight in keeping the history of hip hop connected.

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