Melle Mel

The Grandmaster Melle Mel

The Master of Ceremony [MC] who was officially responsible for laying the foundation for expanding the horizons of Hip-Hop is Melvin "Grandmaster Melle Mel" Glover who was the lead MC of the original Furious Five. Melle Mel is best known for his polarizing lyrics on The Furious Fives monumental song, "The Message" that would give birth to the one of the first signs of conscious Hip-Hop. Melle Mel masterfully expressed his emotions on growing up in the bleak areas of New York during the late twentieth century. His lyrics were a breath of fresh air with highlighting important socially relevant topics such as the subpar public education system and how living in subpar housing units with garbage and roaches everywhere. Still the opening line,"It's like a jungle sometimes/ It makes me wonder how I keep from going under.", is a classic rap lyric that has been recycled throughout Hip-Hop since the song being released in 1982.

Regardless of the slight disapproval he received from his fellow Hip-Hop contemporaries (even the members of the Furious Five including Grandmaster Flash) for recording the song, it still would go on to transform Flash and all the members of the Furious Five into instant Hip-Hop legends due to the impact it made to the music industry and society respectively.

Below are two videos that exemplify Melle Mel's talent of kicking socially relevant and conscious Hip-Hop in ,"The Message" & "Beat Street Breakdown"

DJ Grandmaster Flash and his group the Furious Five were hip-hop's greatest innovators, transcending the genre's party-music origins to explore the full scope of its lyrical and sonic horizons.

That was the one that separated us from everybody else, you know what I mean? If it wasn’t for that record, we would still be a good group but we’d be kind of jumbled in with everybody else. (The Message) That record kind of made the separation because of what it meant to society and what it meant to the record industry.
— The Rap Year Book; Quote directly from Melle Mel on the monumental hip-hop record "The Message"

Grandmaster Melle Mel performing "Beat Street Breakdown", the first track of the original soundtrack album of the 1984 film "Beat Street".