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Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel

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Mele Mel, also known as Melle Mel (born Melvin Glover on May 15, 1961 in The Bronx, New York) is a legendary hip-hop musician, one of the pioneers of old school hip hop as a lyricist & as lead rapper of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. He is the first rapper ever to call himself “MC”. Other Furious Five members included his brother Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Scorpio (Eddie Morris), Rahiem (Guy Todd Williams) & Cowboy (Keith Wiggins). While a member of the group, Cowboy created the term “Hip Hop” while teasing a friend who had just joined the US Army, by scat singing the words “hip/hop/hip/hop” in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of marching soldiers.

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five began recording for Enjoy Records and released “Supperrappin’” in 1979. They later moved on to Sugarhill Records and were popular on the R&B charts with party songs and the like. In 1982 Mele Mel began to turn to more socially aware subject matter, in particular the Reagan administrations economic (Reaganomics) and drug policies, and their effect on the black community. A song entitled “The Message” became an instant classic and one of the first glimmers of conscientious hip-hop. Mel recorded a rap over session musician Duke Bootee’s instrumental track “The Jungle”. Some of Mel’s lyrics on “The Message” were taken directly from “Supperrappin’”, a song he had recorded three years earlier. Although credited to the entire group, “The Message” was really a Mele Mel solo record.

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