Rap icon Melle Mel has commented on the late DMX and 2Pac, saying that they were both “better actors than rappers”.
The legend from Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five said in a recent interview with The Art Of Dialogue that in order to be a good rapper, you have to adopt a persona – and that’s the same factor is needed to be a good actor.
He doubled down on his point, saying that some rap legends were better actors than they were lyricists.
“I thought 2Pac was a better actor than he was a rapper,” he said of the late Californian known for his lead roles in cult classics Juice and Poetic Justice. “I thought he was a hell of an actor than a rapper.”
He also commented on the late Yonkers-born DMX, who famously made his acting debut in Hype Williams-directed Belly alongside Nas.
“I thought DMX was a better actor than he was a rapper,” said Mel. “It’s that persona and when you take a guy like that and you put them in front of a camera….”
He continued: “He could have just stayed within himself and been more dedicated to what he was doing.”
Melle Mel says Eminem is only considered a top 5 rapper because he's white. pic.twitter.com/I5PRMqRR3G
— The Art Of Dialogue (@ArtOfDialogue_) March 2, 2023
Elsewhere in the interview, Mel argued that that Eminem only gained the fifth spot on Billboard’s Top 50 rappers of all-time list due to his race, with Mel himself only placing 48th on the list.
“Obviously he’s a capable rapper,” said Melle Mel. “If you was talking about sales, he’s sold more than everybody. If you were talking about rhyme style, OK he got a rhyme style. But he’s white.”
He continued: “So now if Eminem was another n**** like all the rest of us, would he be Top 5 on that list when a n**** that could rhyme just as good as him is 35?”
The hip-hop legend received major backlash from the likes of 50 Cent – who was signed to Shady Records in the ‘00s – who told Melle Mel to get the “fuck outta here”.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, 50 wrote: “There was more money selling dope, then being in hip-hop when Melly Mel was popping, the culture has grown so much. I’m not sure if it would be what it is today with out artist like Eminem. Shit, I’m not sure I would be who I am with out him but you know it’s competitive so n****s gonna hate. LOL fuck outta here! We sucker free.”
In other news, Melle Mel was featured in a star-studded tribute to hip-hop at this year’s Grammy Awards in celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary.