Hip-Hop legend Melle Mel scoffed at Eminem being ranked as one of the best rappers of all time.
The pioneer discussed Eminem’s Top 5 spot on Billboard’s greatest rappers list in an interview with the Art of Dialogue. Melle Mel downplayed Slim Shady’s worthiness, arguing that Em only receives such praise because he’s white.
“Obviously, he’s a capable rapper,” Melle Mel said. “If you was talking about sales, he sold more than everybody. If you talking about rhyme style – OK, he got a rhyme style. But he’s white! He’s white! If Eminem was just another n#### like all the rest of us, would he be Top 5 on that list when a n#### that can rhyme just as good as him is 35?”
He continued, “And the point is this – if I was white, n####, I’d be greater than Elvis … Melle Mel is greater than Elvis. Melle Mel is the greatest white man that has ever lived. He came up with a culture. He was part of a culture that changed the whole world. That is a great ass white man right there. But I’m not white. I’m one of the n#####.”
Melle Mel pointed to Royce Da 5’9” as evidence of how race played a key factor in Slim Shady’s reputation. The Furious Five member believed Eminem wouldn’t be mentioned among the rap greats if the Interscope Records artist was Black.
“If he was a Black rapper, he wouldn’t even make the list probably,” Melle Mel said. “Busta [Rhymes] … see this is the difference between who writes what list. Busta, I would say, is the No. 1 rapper overall. Nobody’s gonna take Busta. Busta could rap just as good as Eminem. Eminem, he has his style. He’s got a nice little tricky, gimmicky style … But to say that he would be [able to] sell as many records if he was just another brother, that’s not true. It’s just not.”
Listen to Melle Mel below.