In an interview with The Art of Dialogue, rapper Kurupt discussed Eminem’s career in response to controversial remarks made by Melle Mel, a pioneer of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Melle Mel had stated that Eminem, who was ranked No. 5 on Billboard’s Top 50 Greatest Rappers of All Time list, was favored due to his race, ranking above icons like The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Wayne, and André 3000.
Kurupt, a member of Tha Dogg Pound, disagreed with Melle Mel’s view, emphasizing Eminem’s undeniable prowess as a rapper. He acknowledged that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, Eminem’s talent transcends race. Kurupt pointed out that Dr. Dre’s guidance of Eminem focused on content, but it was Eminem’s skill as a battle rapper that solidified his place in Hip Hop. He reiterated that Eminem’s race did not play a role in his recognition or skills.
Kurupt also paid respect to Melle Mel, acknowledging his status as a hip-hop icon and understanding that his perspective comes from being a foundational figure in the genre. However, for Kurupt’s generation, Eminem is seen as a formidable force in the music industry, and his skin color is deemed irrelevant to his contributions and talents.