*Macklemore and Ryan Lewis may be getting slammed for reaching out to rap legends Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz and Kool Moe Dee for the duo’s new single “Downtown” and its video, but in the eyes of Melle Mel, Macklemore is good to go with him.
So much so that the former Sugar Hill Records artist is calling out a few of today’s rhymeslingers for not doing what should’ve been done sooner, according to HipHopDX.com.
“I know for a fact that J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar or Rick Ross or Jay Z or any of these cats, they would not have done it, ever,” Melle Mel told XXL while noting that Macklemore was the only rapper to reach out to him, Caz and Moe Dee. “They would not have done it. It took him to do it. And all those other so-called ‘real cats,’ they should hang their heads because somebody should have done it by now. They could have reached back to any of us. If you’re making records and you say you’re Hip Hop, you’re supposed to have a connection to what Hip Hop really is. And nobody made that connection until Macklemore made the connection. And I’ve had this conversation quite a few times since everything happened and had that little controversy of, yeah, the White boy, using the OGs, or blah blah blah. And like I said, none of those other guys would have ever done it. And it’s a shame that that’s the reality of what the game is right now.”
Melle Mel’s comments follow a story HipHopDX ran about how Macklemore reached out to Big Daddy Kane to get him in contact with Melle Mel, Caz and Moe Dee. Chatting with the site, Moe Dee, mentioned that the backlash Macklemore is experiencing over featuring the rap pioneers on the “Downtown” single and video was something the Seattle, Washington-born rap star knew would happen.
“I think it was just a masterful, smart kind of move,” Kool Moe Dee said. “He knew he was going to get some kind of flack from it. In his mind, there’s always going to be haters no matter what. There will be a segment of the population that will just be happy to just see us and say that was a good look and a good move. Then there would be people that would even look at us as sell-outs or him as reaching. They’re going to put their spin on it. What they do. He was very, very cognizant of what was happening. Once we had that conversation, I’m like, ‘I’m with it.’ We talked for two hours before they even played the beat. That’s how serious they are about making sure that we knew what we were talking about or what we were doing.”
Echoing Moe Dee’s appreciation for Macklemore, Melle Mel gave XXL his stamp of approval to the “Thrift Shop” rapper for featuring him, Moe Dee and Caz saying, “He’s a good dude. He’s a real dude and he’s a friend to Hip Hop.”
For more of HipHopDX’s coverage on Melle Mel, check out the video below: