Grandmaster Melle Mel: "Hip-Hop Has To Grow Up"

(AllHipHop News) As Hip-Hop heads into its 4th decade the question of when the culture will expand beyond just a representation of youthful transgressions has become a point of interest for some of the genre's veteran emcees. One rap pioneer, Grandmaster Melle Mel, feels it's time for Hip-Hop to focus on living a healthy life and not just partying.

“At some point somebody has to realize that Hip-Hop has to learn how to grow up. It’s way too juvenile, and it’s been that way for too long,” Mel told the Washington Times.

The legendary member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five went on to address the heavy use of drugs and alcohol in Hip-Hop.

“It’s not really worth it to literally party yourself to death. It’s like committing suicide,” said the 51-year-old. “You have to choose between what makes you feel good and what makes you think you feel good.”

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The topic of excessive drug use in Hip-Hop came to the forefront once again recently after the tragic death of Kriss Kross member Chris Kelly on May 1st. It has been reported that Kelly died from a cocaine and heroin overdose. He was 34.

50 Cent, Snoop Lion, and RZA also spoke about their healthy lifestyle choices and Hip-Hop's obsession with youth. 50 and Snoop admitted that neither engage in drinking alcohol. RZA revealed that he gave up eating meat fifteen years ago.

The 43-year-old founding member of Wu-Tang Clan believes that Hip-Hop's fixation with the need to appear young is a result of the messages the culture has been feed by the greater society.

“They said we should be dead or in jail by the age of 25. And I think we live like that,” said RZA. "What I want to tell the Hip-Hop generation out there is that: There’s a chance you’re going to become a man. Be prepared for it.”

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Listen to Melle Mel's classic 1983 anti-drug song "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" below.