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Grandmaster Melle Mel

Grandmaster Melle Mel
Miami Vice Performer
Born
May 15, 1961 (Bronx, New York)
Active
1978-present


Melvin Glover (Born May 15, 1962, Bronx, New York) is an American hip-hop/rap musician known as Grandmaster Melle Mel, who performed the song "Vice" in the episode "Whatever Works" on the show Miami Vice.

Career

Glover formed the hip-hop/rap group Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five in 1978 with his brother Nathaniel "The Kidd Creole" Glover, Eddie "Scorpio" Morris, Guy Todd "Rahiem" Williams, and Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins. They released their single "Superrappin" in 1979, followed by two other singles, "Freedom" and "The Birthday Party" which became party standards as the rap genre began to go mainstream in the early 1980s. The Furious Five released their first album, The Message, in 1982, which featured a more socially conscious style of music, referencing Reaganomics and the "War on Drugs" occurring at that time. Disputes over the royalties for The Message with the head of their record label broke up the group in the mid-1980s and reformed under Melle Mel's auspices, now calling himself Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five, whose anti-drug single "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It) featured Laurence Fishburne in a video directed by a film student, Spike Lee. Mel also contributed some rap vocals to Chaka Khan's song "I Feel For You", the song "Vice" for Miami Vice, and appeared in the movie Beat Street (with Saundra Santiago and Shawn Elliott). In 1988 Mel and Grandmaster Flash reunited for an album, On The Strength, but by then the hip-hop/rap genre had exploded with newcomers like Run-D.M.C., The Fat Boys, Public Enemy, and DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (Will Smith), and their album sold poorly. After his appearance on the anti-Apartheid song "Sun City", Mel's career slowed somewhat, releasing three albums between 1989 and 2006, In 2006 he released a children's book, The Portal in the Park, featuring a rap single with two songs by a then-unknown Lady Gaga. His most recent album was 2007's Muscles; that same year the Furious Five (with Melle Mel) became the first rap/hip-hop group inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; in his acceptance speech Mel implored the recording industry to bring the rap/hip-hop genre back to its' 1980s roots of artistic style instead of the culture of violence it has become. Mel continues to make occasional appearances on TV and music-related programs, but does not do much touring anymore.

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