Hip-hop music grew from the streets of Harlem and the Bronx into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Dan Charnas chronicles how hip-hop producers and entrepreneurs changed the music industry and pop culture in The Big Payback.
Melle Mel was the original vocalist on The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. This month Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five will be the first hip-hop act inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Many rappers regard The Message as an inspiration, as well as a political message. Melle Mel also rapped on the updated version, The New Message.
When the hit rap song "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five came out 20 years ago, many rappers regarded it as an inspiration as well as a political message. Now "The Message" has been selected as one of the greatest songs of all time by the Library of Congress, and has been added to the National Recording Registry. Melle Mel was the original vocalist on the song. This interview first aired August 4, 1992.
When the hit rap song "The Message," by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, came out ten years ago, many rappers were inspired by its political message. Now "The New Message," an updated version has been released. Melle Mel was featured on both songs. He joins Fresh Air to talk about the direction of rap music today.