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Glover began performing in the late s. He may have been the first rapper to call himself MC master of ceremonies. They released numerous singles, gaining a gold disc for "Freedom," and touring. In Melle Mel began to turn to more socially-aware subject matter, in particular the Reagan administration's economic Reaganomics and drug policies, and their effect on the black community. A song " The Message " became an instant classic and one of the first glimmers of conscious hip-hop.
The song, which warns against the dangers of cocaine , addiction , and drug smuggling , is one of Melle Mel's signature tracks. This was done to mislead the general public into believing that Grandmaster Flash participated on the record,  when in fact he played no part and had already left the Sugar Hill Records label the previous year. It was the 13th best-selling single of in the UK, selling more than several number one hits that year. The song was co-written by Melle Mel and Sylvia Robinson. Originally, it was intended to be an ironic celebration of a cocaine-fueled party lifestyle, but it was abridged with the "don't do it" message as a concession to commercial considerations. As discussed in a article in the Village Voice, the entire "White Lines" was a note-by-note appropriation of "Cavern", with a rapping track overlaid.