“Epic battle raps and epic punchlines. Key players remember one of the hip-hop industry’s most influential events.” Testimony from Lord Finesse, Freshco, Mikey D, MF Grimm, Prince Paul, A.G. and others. Story by Robbie “ Unkut ” Ettelson.
Mikey D vs. Melle Mel excerpt from The New Music Seminar Battle For World Supremacy: An Oral History :
DJ Johnny Juice: Melle came up on stage dressed like a World Wrestling Federation dude. He had these tights on and a dude with him who looked like a referee [Grandmaster Caz]. Dude was wearing a white and black striped shirt and the black pants. [Melle] said, “To be the man, you gotta beat the man! Whoever wins takes both belts home!”
MC Chill: Melle Mel just walked up on Mikey D with his belt from last year – the ’87 belt – basically saying, “Put your belt up against my belt!” Mike is like, “Ehh, I don’t know…” All the people are like, “Dude, don’t do it!”
Mikey D: He’s talking about [me], “He’s nobody! He don’t deserve this belt!” I said, “I’m not gonna battle you for the belt, ‘cos I just won this!”
DJ Johnny Juice: But the crowd was like, “What the fuck? That’s some bullshit! You gonna let him talk to you like that?” So Mikey was like, “Alright, fuck it! Let’s do it!”
Mikey D: He said his shit, and I liked it – it was pretty cute. But then it was my turn. Now this guy had the nerve to start doing push-ups on stage! I tell the guys with the SP-12’s, “Turn the music off!” I started goin’ on him, off the beats of his push-ups! The crowd went wild! That was round one.
DJ Johnny Juice: Mikey came back on his second verse and destroyed Melle. Mel came back and started doing a written rhyme – it wasn’t even a battle rhyme – and everybody started booing. In the middle of his rhymes he was like, “Fuck y’all motherfuckers! I’m takin’ the belts anyway!”
Mikey D: Grandmaster Caz picked both of the belts up when I had my back turned, and started walking off!
MC Chill: Then [Caz] gave it to Mel and they both walked out through the crowd like, “Somebody take it from me!”
DJ Johnny Juice: Mikey didn’t try to stop ‘em, and that pissed me off. I’m thinking, “Don’t let that motherfucker walk off the stage with your belt!” Mikey’s just standing there. I think he’s in shock.
Tom Silverman: Everyone in the audience was chanting, “Give back the belt! Give back the belt!” He was like the bad guy in wrestling. Every time I see him I say, “Melle Mel! When are you gonna give back the belt?” [laughs]
[Read Robbie Ettelson ’s entire story over at Red Bull Music Academy ]