Lil Wayne, the multi-platinum-selling rapper, is undoubtedly one of the most influential and controversial figures in contemporary hip-hop. He began his career at the age of nine, and by his late teens had already made a name for himself with his distinctive flow and vivid storytelling. With a career spanning over two decades, Wayne has released numerous critically acclaimed albums and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Hence, it should come as no surprise that when Billboard released their list of 50 Greatest Rappers Of All Time, Lil Wayne felt that he should occupy the number one spot instead of Jay-Z.
However, it seems like Melle Mel doesn’t agree with Wayne’s opinion. During a recent interview with The Art Of Dialogue, Mel stated that Wayne can’t occupy the top spot since he uses autotune.
“How could you know. How?” he said of Wayne. He continued, “If his voice is on autotune, was something wrong with his voice for them to put the autotune on his voice? Or is it just something that they did in the studio to give it that rawness? But how could you know?”
While Melle Mel said that Wayne is “entitled to his own opinion,” he doubts if any other legendary rapper would echo the same sentiments.
“If you have five capable ‘so-called great rappers’ on a panel, I guarantee you, Lil Wayne would not be No.1,” he said.
Melle also spoke about Eminem and Kendrick Lamar who also made the top ten. Mel stated that Lamar, who occupied the number two spot on the list, doesn’t “translate into the street part of 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.”
Melle Mel didn’t hold back his thoughts on Eminem either. He said that Em was only considered a top MC because of the color of his skin.
“Obviously he’s a capable rapper,” he 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!”
50 Cent, however, came to Eminem’s defense by saying that Mel doesn’t understand that the culture has “grown so much” from its first iterations.
“There was more money selling dope than being in Hip Hop when Melly Mel [sic] was popping, the culture has grown so much.” 50 Cent said. “I am not sure if it would be what it is today with out artist like Eminem. Shit I am not sure I would be who I am with out him but you know it is competitive so n***as gonna hate. LOL f**k outta here ! We sucker free.”
Chuck D, on the other hand, said that Melle Mel knew what it took to be the best because he was a dominant force in Hip Hop’s primitive years.
“Understand Melle Mel was so dominant over the rest of the pack in the first 5 years of records its hard to comprehend for born after MC folk. Its why i call him Wilt Chamberlain and Wilt had a crate of critiques for the rappers after him including ME. Just Let Mel be Wilt lol.”
The debate for the Greatest Rapper of All Time will continue with different rappers occupying the top spot for different people. The subjective nature of this topic leaves a never-ending argument. Stay tuned to Thirsty For News as we bring you similar stories.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments section.