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Melle Mel (born Melvin Glover on May 15, 1962 in Bronx, New York ) is a hip-hop musician, one of the pioneers of old school hip hop as a lyricist & as lead rapper of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. Other Furious Five members included his brother Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover), Scorpio (Eddie Morris), Rahiem ( Guy Todd Williams) & Cowboy (Keith Wiggins).
The group began recording for Sugar Hill Records and were popular on the R&B charts with party songs and the like. In 1982 Melle Mel began to turn to more socially aware subject matter, in particular the Reagan administrations economic (Reaganomics) and drug policies, and their effect on the black community. A song entitled "The Message" became an instant classic and one of the first glimmers of conscientious hip-hop. Mel would also go on to write songs about struggling life in New York City ("New York, New York"), and making it through life in general ("Survival"). Grandmaster Flash split from the group after contract disputes between Melle Mel and their promoter Sylvia Robinson in regards to royalties for "The Message". Mel became known as "Grandmaster Melle Mel" and is now the leader of the Furious Five.
The group went on the produce the anti-drug song "White Lines (Don't Do It)" (the unofficial music video was directed by then unknown film student Spike Lee & starred an unknown Lawrence Fishbourne. Mel then gained higher success appearing in the movie entitled "Beat Street", with a powerful song based on the movies title. Mel also performed on Chaka Khan's hit song "I Feel for You" which introduced hip-hop to the mainstream R&B audience.
1988 after an almost 4 year layoff, Mel and Flash reunited and released the album "On The Strength", but with up and coming and more advanced artists such as Eric B. & Rakim, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Public Enemy,Boogie Down Productions and Big Daddy Kane dominating the hip-hop market, the album failed miserably.
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