Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

The Real Old School Hip Hop Forum....Share and spread knowledge. Keep the history alive...Please limit discussions in the forum to topics no later than 1986.

Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby romeorock » Fri May 29, 2015 5:22 am

by Henry Mansell

posted Friday May 22, 2015 at 01:30PM PST |  3 comments


Melle Mel says Scorpio and himself are seeking legal action against Grandmaster Flash.


The Furious Five’s Scorpio recently blasted Grandmaster Flash by claiming that the iconic deejay never contributed to any of the group’s music, including their 1982 hit record, “The Message.”

Fellow Furious Five member Melle Mel recently spoke with AllHipHop to weigh in on the situation and offer his side of the story.

First off, The Bronx rapper explained why Scorpio and himself have come forward to speak out regarding Grandmaster Flash’s contribution to the group’s music.

“I mean it’s real simple, it’s just plain economics,” Melle Mel says. “When we started out and was in the ground Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, we all basically came up together, helped build that name and then now – the way it is right now… Flash was the first one to understand what branding was so he took that part and he set us all out. No matter what happens, if you say ‘Grandmaster Flash,’ you think of ‘Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five,’ but you never get to the ‘Furious Five’ part. With that, he does like 200 shows a year and me and [Scorpio] are lucky to do like 9 shows. But, we all based on the same group and the same music that Flash really never had a part in the music.

“We just swept it all under the rug,” Melle Mel continues. “And he’s out there acting like he’s doing something that we never did. We bled Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. As far as the group go, I did all the heavy lifting. I wrote every song. I’m the one that worked with Quincy Jones. I was the one that worked with Chaka Khan. I was the one that worked with Harry Belafonte. Flash is sitting on the side and he’s taking all the credit. If you look at ‘The Message’ video it ain’t like there is a DJ in the video. So, the average person would come out of to see the body of work that Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five did, the average person would come to the conclusion that I was Grandmaster Flash because I was the face of the group. Somehow, he’s holding that against me like I took something away from him. I changed it to ‘Grandmaster Melle Mel’ because we’re trying to sell records. He still benefited from it. No matter what we did, it still came back to Grandmaster Flash. When I see Grandmaster Flash, he looks at me like some kind of back-up dancer… Why would he [do] that? I bled for this dude. Our names are so intertwined, if I found a cure for cancer right now, the headline would say, ‘Grandmaster Flash Finds A Cure For Cancer.’ And he knows that. That’s why we have to go through a public campaign of publicly separating ourselves, because we haven’t worked with the dude in over 15 years. He won’t come out and publicly say that. So we coming with the new campaign and the new music. Let it be known, we don’t have anything to do with each other.”

Melle Mel also spoke on whether or not himself and Scorpio are seeking legal action against Grandmaster Flash.

“Yeah, because we feel we should have the right to use the name ‘Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five,’ because that’s the only way we can get work,” he says. “Nobody’s gonna book ‘The Furious Fives,’ nobody’s gonna book ‘Grandmaster’s Furious Five,’ nobody’s gonna book ‘Grandmaster Melle Mel And The Furious Five.’ They are either gonna book ‘Grandmaster Flash’ or ‘Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.’ Even if you take away the DJ, you still should be able to work under the name of the group.”

Later in the conversation, Melle Mel reiterated Scorpio’s argument that Grandmaster Flash doesn’t wish to work with The Furious Five anymore, despite not admitting that publicly.

“The reality of it is that Flash don’t work with the group,” Melle Mel says. “Like when we did the Grammy Hall of Fame. When they inducted ‘The Message’ in the Grammy Hall of Fame, they didn’t call Sugar Hill Records, they didn’t call me – they called Flash. And Flash was gonna induct the record in the Grammy Hall of Fame and they were gonna use LL [Cool J], Lupe Fiasco, Common and Rick Ross. And the only reason we got on to do the record was because they had to call Joey [from Sugar Hill Records] to get the rights for the publishing. We were working with Joey at the time and he said they wouldn’t give them the rights unless we would be on the program to do ‘The Message.’ Other than that, he would have done ‘The Message’ with Common and them and that’s that. He don’t wanna work with us. And, at this point, I’m a grown man, I don’t necessarily wanna work with him either. Flash stands behind me, he always did… If I don’t have no problem with that, he shouldn’t have no problem with that. In the past 15 years, he’s done thousands of shows, did about three albums – none of them you could wipe your a** with – that’s how garbage they are. At the end of the day, we deserve to work how he works, because I put in my work to make Grand Master Flash Grandmaster Flash. I don’t think he put in any work to make Melle Mell Melle Mel.”
romeorock
Old School Professor
Old School Professor
 
Posts: 446
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:21 pm

Re: Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby mike t » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:56 pm

Nice read
mike t
Old School Godfather
Old School Godfather
 
Posts: 1490
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 12:00 am
Location: New Haven CT (by way of Jersey!)

Re: Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby Trooper » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:17 am

Grandmaster Melle Mel is in my opinion good enough to perform as a solo artist ..
He does not need to be looking for bookings under the Furious 5 name...and its tragic that he feels he needs to since a duo is not 5...
How do you perform Furious 5 tracks live when 3 members are missing? One ofcourse ,Cowboy no longer with us.
By chasing the Furious 5 name he is gonna end up like Sugar Hill Gang(dear me... Henn dog? who?) performing at 80s revival gigs along with other half arsed pop groups who are also missing most of their original members and have to alter their name slighlty.

Come on... Melle Mel is better than this!!
Trooper
Old School Rookie
Old School Rookie
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby fizza » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:02 pm

Trooper wrote:
Come on... Melle Mel is better than this!!


I think that's the point though, I am assuming that right now Melle Mel and Scorpio are quite possibly seeing hard times and are frustrated that they are being overshadowed by Grandmaster Flash. You have to concede that to Melle Mel it has to be more than galling that GMF is inducting The Message into the Hall of Fame and with them not being initially invited to be part of it, when it's on record (no pun intended) that GMF never liked the track and himself acknowledges that he had nothing to do with it, but GMF is by insinuation, the one who books other rappers to perform it...

I think it's a shame (no pun again) about what happened and that it can't be worked out for all, Melle Mel is acknowledging that Grandmaster Flash is a key part of their branding, although in hindsight, I think adding Grandmaster to Melle Mel's name may have done more to confuse things at the time when there was the real opportunity to break the Furious Five as a group on their own. But then, quite a bit of that stems from alleged divide and conquer tactics employed by Sylvia at Sugarhill which GMF, I believe has said, set to minimise him at the expense of Melle Mel.

I think that possibly from GMF's view, the Furious Five was an era or period of his career and that his current bookings are not meant to be viewed as 80s retro hip hop shows, and that bringing Melle Mel etc.. into them would maybe in his mind, turn them that and thus make his shows less bookable. Who knows?

Would more or less people than who currently attend a current GMF show be inclined to see a Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five show? And wouldn't the cost of booking them go up, or the percentage cut go down? Or maybe the better solution would be to do two types of show, keep the GMF DJ gigs going and then have a second tour as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five?
fizza
Old School Godfather
Old School Godfather
 
Posts: 2359
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 1:00 am
Location: TX

Re: Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby Trooper » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:23 pm

When people go to see Flash... they get a DJ and thats all. But thats all it should be. (And I would hope he still uses vinyl.... the very idea of seeing a hip hop DJ using mp3 vinyls and a PC turns my stomach)

But if your buying a ticket to see GRANDMASTER and the FURIOUS 5 you should be expecting to see 6 performers. As cowboy is dead he would have to be replaced ...not a great idea..but the only one real solution since 99.9% of rap/hip hop artists namecheck themselves throughout 99.9% of their music.... this ofcourse makes any half arsed attempt by worthless excuses like Sugarhill look absolutely embarressing on every level..... god how i despise that crap so much... and to see actual TALENT look like they are heading in the same way is just far too cringeworthy.



The ONLY way this can work is this.


FLASH
MELLE MEL
KID CREOLE
SCORPIO
RAHIEM
And unfortunately a replacement for Cowboy. A close friend or at least someone who grew up with those guys and is not just some newcomer.

Anyway.... why the hell dont Melle Mel do something like hey.....MAKE SOME NEW RECORDS!!!

His PIANO album didnt need Flash and its a great record. Years since I owned the vinyl so I cant think which actual FIVE others performed on it.... if they even did.

Really... when an artist has been around for 33 years they should have a dozen or more albums under their belt and not rely on material they made in the first 6 months of their career.
Trooper
Old School Rookie
Old School Rookie
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby Analog2Digital » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:50 pm

When people go to see Flash... they get a DJ and thats all. But thats all it should be. (And I would hope he still uses vinyl.... the very idea of seeing a hip hop DJ using mp3 vinyls and a PC turns my stomach)


Sorry to disappoint you but no, he uses Serato like 99% of other celebrity Dj's. However, I see no harm in using new technology as it is 2015 and not 1982 anymore. Its the skills and musicality that count in my opinion. I do appreciate the old fashioned way of doing things too but it is far more limiting and no real benefit to the DJ or audience as far as I'm concerned, just close your eyes and enjoy the music.

Regarding Melle Mel, well if he took the time to book some venues in the UK, maybe at the Jazz cafe or similar then I'd be the first to book my tickets. I am getting tired of hearing about artists that believe that they are long forgotten and therefore don't bother to release any new music or perform. It couldn't be easier today for an artist to knock together a track or video on youtube so why he is sat there bickering over a band name I'll never know. If I was GMF I wouldn't want to drag the whole group around with me at every show either as it's not what he is about anymore. They are two separate acts imo and even back on the last album Flash was innovating new styles that no longer fitted with the band.

As for the feud, that attitude has resulted in the airwaves being polluted with nonsense for the last two decades instead of the older artists carrying on their thing and we are all suffering as a result. Anyhow, he doesn't need Flash, just get a new DJ and please get your backside out there and perform before it's too late and I guarantee there will be an audience.
Analog2Digital
Old School Rookie
Old School Rookie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:28 pm

Re: Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby Trooper » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:04 am

A Hip Hop DJ should be using only two turntables and a gemini mixer..and he should be stealing his electricity from the nearest lamp-post. Vinyls should be scuffed up and stickered, needles SHOULD jump, there should be fcuck ups. even Joe Cooley's needle skipped from time to time..

anything else is bullshit... :-)

and while im at it.... Graffiti is not graffiti if its done with permission on some nice newly painted wall for Joe Public to see.

Only train tunnels,bombin,and old school ways are real!!
Trooper
Old School Rookie
Old School Rookie
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:53 am

Re: Melle Mel Discusses Feud With Grandmaster Flash

Postby 155 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:33 pm

Analog2Digital wrote:
When people go to see Flash... they get a DJ and thats all. But thats all it should be. (And I would hope he still uses vinyl.... the very idea of seeing a hip hop DJ using mp3 vinyls and a PC turns my stomach)


Sorry to disappoint you but no, he uses Serato like 99% of other celebrity Dj's. However, I see no harm in using new technology as it is 2015 and not 1982 anymore. Its the skills and musicality that count in my opinion. I do appreciate the old fashioned way of doing things too but it is far more limiting and no real benefit to the DJ or audience as far as I'm concerned, just close your eyes and enjoy the music.

As for the feud, that attitude has resulted in the airwaves being polluted with nonsense for the last two decades instead of the older artists carrying on their thing and we are all suffering as a result. Anyhow, he doesn't need Flash, just get a new DJ and please get your backside out there and perform before it's too late and I guarantee there will be an audience.


Flash has been very astute in recognising that, as he would say, '[...] it isn't who's best - it is who's first'. He has managed to establish a position within the narrative of Hip Hop that will almost certainly guarantee that he will remain a necessary lodestar - even if technically his skills as a DJ have not progressed since the early 1980s. Many of the people coming to see and hear Flash in an international context now are highly likely to not have been a part of the original generation that saw and heard Flash at his prime - for them it as much about visiting the narrative and nostalgia - of making some form of contact with one of the pioneers (and by extension the original cultural setting).

Regarding the state of Hip Hop now and the role of original artists - it is a hugely complicated narrative and history that still demands proper examination.

Nice to be back here.

155
:D
155
Old School Member
Old School Member
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:00 am


Return to Old School Discussions and Questions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron