The MC. The Master of Ceremonies. Melvin Glover who was born May 15th, 2961 in the Bronx was destined for greatness. Getting together with his brother Nate (Kidd Creole) and Keith Wiggins (Cowboy), they formed the group the Three MC’s; who was produced by Joseph Saddler (Grandmaster Flash). Mel is credited as possibly being the first to use the MC moniker in his name. Joined by Scorpio, and Raheim, they eventually formed Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. This group created classics that forever changed the direction of music.
Keith Cowboy is credited as dropping the phrase “Hip Hop”, when he was given the dozens to a friend who had joined the US Army. Cowboy scatted “hip/hop/hip/hop” as to tease the sound of cadence of marching soldiers. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5 dropped “Supperrappin” in 79 on Enjoy Records. But in 1982, a bomb dropped, now on Sugarhill Records, Melle Mel penned “The Message.” Instead of the Block and House party raps, this was focused on life in rundown communities. This took the helm of social commentary, and was the precursor to Political/Reality/Conscious rap today. This type of style more aligned to our Hip Hop forefathers, The Last Poets, The Watts Prophets, and Gil Scott Heron. Where would the art be without this song? The “Message” in 2002, was one of 50 recording chosen to be in the National recording Registry by the Library of Congress, and it was also ranked #51 in Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest songs of all time.
Mel is a pioneer. He wrote his own raps, dominated the mic, lead a pioneering group, and delivered thought provoking raps.His bravado influenced many after him, Kool Moe Dee, LL Cool J, Rakim, etc. Grandmaster Melle Mel isn’t honored like he should, in our opinion. He recently made news by proclaiming he could out battle Emenim, and we firmly agree with that sentiment. He was a battle rapper before battling, Mel’s pen game remains strong. When the film “Beat Street” Dropped in 1984 produced by Harry Belafonte, he became an early icon of Hip Hop. Mel has a grammy, awarded for “Back on the Block” by Quincy Jones, released in 1990. All MC’s after him, might as well call him the father. We salute Melle Mel, and will have some of his powerful raps in the mix. Salute!