Melle Mel has made the surprising claim that Kendrick Lamar has not influenced the world of hip-hop. Mel had given his explanation and reasons for such a thing to say when he appeared in conversation with The Art of the Dialogue. He admitted the crazy talent that Kendrick holds but noted that hip-hop fans do not want to rap as he does.
According to the Grandmaster, Lamar’s style is not akin to the way hip-hop is perceived on “the streets.” He said (via Hot New Hip Hop), “I don’t know what records he made like that. I might know one or two of them, but I don’t think you even hear Kendrick in the club like that.”
Even if he thinks Lamar is indeed talented, for Mel, that does not necessarily mean that it should “translate into the No.2 rapper of all time.” He added, “Nobody wants to rap like Kendrick Lamar. Nobody wants to rap like Eminem. A lot of people wanted to rap, like ‘Pac and Biggie.”
Mel then further noted his thoughts on Eminem, claiming that he is only uttered in the same breath as some of the great rappers because he is white. “Obviously he’s a capable rapper,” Mel said. “If you was talking about sales, he’s sold more than everybody. If you were talking about rhyme style, okay he got a rhyme style. But he’s white. He’s white! So now if Eminem was another n***a like all the rest of us, would he be Top 5 on that list when a n***a that could rhyme just as good as him is 35? That had records and all that? He’s 35. He’s white.”
Finally, Mel claimed that Royce Da 5’9 ought to be considered just as good as Eminem, while calling him the wrong name at the same time. “And anybody could be as mad… They could feel how they wanna feel,” Mel said. “If you don’t think that race plays a part in the equation of how great he is — I heard one of the dudes that’s down with him, Royce Da 6’9″ or one of those – I heard he’s just as good as Eminem. Why he ain’t as big as Eminem? Because he’s Black! Ain’t none of that shit hard to figure out. Eminem gets a top spot because he’s white.”