Melle Mel, the legendary rapper and founding member of the Furious Five, has apologized to Eminem for a diss track he released earlier this this month. The now deleted track tagged “Melle Mel’s Response” raised questions about Eminem’s position in hip-hop and drew an unusual comparison to comedian Pee-Wee Herman.
In a statement issued on a Saturday (Aug. 12), Melle Mel expressed his regrets for the misunderstanding, acknowledging that his perspective was flawed and ill-conceived. He took full responsibility for his actions and noted that Eminem’s loyal fan base demonstrated genuine admiration and loyalty.
“In light of the momentous 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, my initial aim was to contribute an engaging and culturally enriching creation to the tapestry of our musical landscape,” the statement began.
“Regrettably, my response fell short of its intended mark, and I unreservedly shoulder the responsibility for this lapse. I recognize that my perspective was inadequately thought-out, and I am fully prepared to assume accountability for this misstep. The unwavering and fervent loyalty of Eminem’s dedicated fan base is a clear testament to their authentic admiration and loyalty—a truly commendable aspect.”
The 62-year-old emphasized that he has always recognized Eminem’s exceptional skills as an emcee and clarified that his previous choice of words, implying that Eminem’s success was solely due to his skin color, did not accurately reflect his true beliefs.
“From the onset, I have consistently recognized Eminem’s exceptional prowess as an emcee, without reservation. My unfortunate choice of words, suggesting that his success is solely attributed to the color of his skin, was in no way reflective of my genuine beliefs. It was an attempt, albeit misguided, to engage competitively within the emcee sphere.
“It is important to acknowledge that the dynamics of Hip-Hop have evolved over distinct eras, and it is inevitable that not everyone will resonate with my perspective, just as I may not fully comprehend others. Throughout my involvement in shaping the Hip-Hop landscape, the cornerstone has been built upon a foundation of mutual respect, even when personal preferences may differ.
Mel added: “Moving forward, my paramount commitment is to foster an environment characterized by respect in every facet of my endeavors. With utmost sincerity, I convey my best wishes and extend heartfelt appreciation to Eminem for the recognition extended to me during his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction speech.”
While Eminem has yet to publicly react to Melle Mel’s apology, his fans weren’t exactly lenient with their comments. Moments after “The Message” creator released the diss track on his YouTube channel, Eminem stans flooded his social media pages with negative reviews, dubbing the track “the worst piece of music released in 2023.”
In addition to his apology, Melle Mel also took the opportunity to reflect on the ever-changing landscape of hip-hop and his commitment to promoting positivity through his music. “I am keenly aware that Hip-Hop encompasses diverse epochs, and my objective remains focused on promoting a spirit of respect, as we collectively celebrate the 50th anniversary of this influential cultural phenomenon.”
The roots of this exchange between Melle Mel and Eminem can be traced back to a March interview with the Art Of Dialogue where Mel, born Melvin Glover boldly questioned Eminem’s ranking among top rappers. He raised the question of whether Eminem’s fame would be the same if he were Black, implying that his success is partially attributed to his whiteness.
“Obviously, he’s a capable rapper. If you was talking about sales, he sold more than everybody. If you talking about rhyme style – OK, he got a rhyme style. But he’s white! He’s white! If Eminem was just another n-gga like all the rest of us, would he be Top 5 on that list when a n-gga that can rhyme just as good as him is 35?” Melle Mel said on Billboard’s Top 50 Rappers of All Time list, which ranked Eminem at No. 5.
Eminem remained silent for a while but eventually responded to Melle Mel’s remarks through his verse on the single “Realest” by Ez Mill. In this verse, Eminem references Melle Mel directly, insinuating that the “White Lines” pioneer’s cognitive abilities have been impaired. He raps, “Shoutout to Furious Five and Grandmaster Flash, but boy / There’s someone who really is furious / Stay out his path, his wrath avoid / I’ll be the last to toy with a juice head whose brain is half destroyed, like a meteor hit it / Now with Melle Mel, he lost his ass to ‘roids.”
What do you think of Melle Mel’s apology?