Grandmaster Melle Mel of The Furious 5 | Interview
Grandmaster Melle Mel is an emcee from Bronx, NY, and one of the pioneers of hip hop from the group Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Melle Mel was the first rapper to call himself “MC”, while his group member Cowboy created the term “hip-hop” by teasing a friend in the Army, scat singing the words “hip/hop/hip/hop” to mimic the rhythm of marching soldiers. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five began recording in 1979 and released the record “Superrappin'”. In 1982, Melle Mel recorded “The Message”, which became an instant classic and one of the first conscious hip hop tracks. The song went platinum in less than a month and is arguably the greatest record in hip hop history. It was the first hip hop record ever to be included into the U.S. National Archive Of Historic Recordings and the first hip hop record inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame. Grandmaster Flash parted ways with the group and Mel became the leader of the Furious Five. The group went on to produce the anti-drug song “White Lines”. Mel then appeared in the movie Beat Street, with a song based on the movie’s title. He became the first rap artist ever to win a Grammy Award for Record Of The Year. In 1988, Mel and Flash reunited and released the album, On The Strength, with Eric B. & Rakim, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, and Big Daddy Kane. In 1996, he contributed vocals to the U.S. edition of Cher’s hit, One By One. In 1997, Melle Mel released an album with Scorpio called Right Now. In 2007, Mel released his first ever solo album, Muscles. Also in 2007, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five became the first rap group ever inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame.