Mele Mel Pursues WWE Career, Expanding Businesses

Although he is revered in Hip-Hop circles, Mele Mel is planning to make an impact of a different kind in the world of professional wrestling.

The rapper, who was recently inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, will attempt to become the latest champion in Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment.

"I'm going to try and get some of John Cena's money [current WWE champ] and get with the WWE to do my thing," Mele Mel told "I went to the wrestling school over the summer and picked up a little bit of moves. I wanted to see if it was something that I wanted to do, other than just dreaming of wanting to be a wrestler. It's a little rough, but it's something that can be done."

The WWE venture is among a string of opportunities Mele Mel is capitalizing on.

The rapper is currently involved in the creation of a children's book and fitness video, as well as a new album titled Muscles from his record label Big Guns Records.

Mele Mel is also the co-owner of the Sedgwick & Cedar clothing line, which also counts pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa, Sha Rock, Grandmaster Caz, Busy Bee, Kool Herc and others as proprietors.

"It's just another feather under the cap and putting as many companies and businesses under the umbrella because you have to forge an

empire," Mele Mel said of the clothing line. "It's just another way of us expressing ourselves and getting by on a financial level. We don't do the big number as Phat Farm or Rocawear as of yet, but the impact is there."

The Sedgwick and Cedar line represents one way for veteran Hip-Hop artists to remain relevant in a culture that caters to the young, according to

Mele Mel.

"Once people see us on the same playing field as everyone else, they don't look at us like we're a bunch of old guys," the rapper said. "It's like we're selling clothes over here, they're selling clothes over there, and they love us."

Mele Mel is optimistic about the success of his ventures.

Still, the rapper feels the current generation of emcees has already counted their

predecessors out.

"Younger cats try to put us in a has-been position. You can't turn a legend into a has-been because he has too many roots," Mele Mel said. "He might not be doing it now, but he's done it so long and so good that he is what he is. When Mele Mel walks in the room, or Kool Herc or Kurtis Blow or Doug E. Fresh, it's undeniable. It's just a certain vibe and certain respect that never goes nowhere. We need to [be more business minded] on our own so we'll have more respect from the industry as artists and businessmen instead of [people saying] them cats are from back in the day and they're bitter.' All that's corny anyway."