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Melle Mel says the only reason Eminem is considered as a top five rapper is because he's white

Melle Mel says the only reason Eminem is considered as a top five rapper is because he's white

The rap icon described Em as a 'capable rapper'

Melle Mel has claimed Eminem's skin colour was what earned him a top spot among rappers as he placed fifth on Billboard & Vibe’s Top 50 greatest rappers list.

Em is regarded by millions as a 'Rap God' after decades in the game, and his talents were acknowledged when he landed fifth place in the list released last month.

Melle Mel placed fifth on the list.
Steve Mack / Alamy Stock Photo

He ranked above a range of beloved artists and was beat out only by Tupac in fourth place, and Nas, Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z in third, second and first respectively. But rapper Melle Mel indicated Em's music skills aren't what earned him the spot.

During an appearance on The Art of Dialogue podcast, the Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five icon was asked what he thought about Em's fifth place ranking and began by acknowledging that 'obviously he's a capable rapper'.

He continued: "If you were 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."

Melle Mel went on to question whether Eminem would have made it into the top five if he was Black, arguing that a Black musician who could 'rhyme just as good as him is [number] 35'.

"[A rapper] that had records and all that? He’s 35. [Eminem's] white.”

It's unclear whether Melle Mel had just picked a random number as an example when comparing Eminem to other artists, but it was rapper Future who placed at number 35 with eight Number 1 albums and 10 top 10 Hot 100 hits under his belt.

Melle Mel argued other rappers are just as good as Eminem.
ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

Melle Mel continued: "And anybody could be mad… They could feel how they wanna feel.

"If you don’t think that race plays a part in the equation of how great he is — I heard one of the dudes that’s down with him, Royce Da 6’9″ [Royce Da 5’9″] or one of those – I heard he’s just as good as Eminem.

"Why he ain’t as big as Eminem? Because he’s Black. Ain’t none of that sh*t hard to figure out. Eminem gets a top spot because he’s white.”

Melle Mel himself placed 48 in the list, with Billboard praising him for his 'game-changing run with Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five' and his 1984 appearance on the Grammy-winning track 'I Feel for You', which was described as a 'pivotal early crossover moment between the hip-hop and R&B worlds'.

Featured Image Credit: WENN Rights Ltd/REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Music, Eminem