MC Lyte needs no introduction! As one of hip-hop’s oldest and premiere acts she has earned her fame with blood, sweat, and tears. You know her as the legendary DJ “on the ones and twos,” turning your ordinary club experience into the concert of a life time. Soon you will learn she is woman on her grind! Hip-Hop has officially earned its place in history this year, defining itself more as a social revolution than a music genre.Documentaries and productions are always giving their props to the male MCs, DJ’s, and artists, but few women make this list. Rightfully so, MC Lyte is one of them!
She has managed to remain relevant by always pushing the envelope and being the mold that defines female MCs. “It feels surreal to be living my dream…I wanted to rap anyway I could…” This drive led her to be a pioneer of the hip-hop movement. Such hard work and determination has been recognized countless times, but few as special and honorable as “The MV Summer Madness Music Festival.” This momentous event takes place annually in the summer hot spot of Martha’s Vineyard. Here, artists throughout the industry gather to celebrate fun, food, achievements, and definitely to enjoy one another’s music. “Festivals like this are important…anything positive that brings people out and together is a good thing…” This year of the festival is especially hot due to its theme, “The Ladies First.” It recognizes and celebrates the amazing contributions of Black women to music and those who are continuing to be “boss ladies” in a traditionally male-dominated industry. “This years marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the song ‘Ladies First’ by Queen Latifah and Monie Love so it is really awesome their doing that…it’s time people really know just how many people contributed to making rap what it is…when we came out we were all gritty, reflecting the communities we came from… to go from that to what it is now is rewarding…” The festival will take place August 8, 2014, where she will be honored alongside Sonja Norwood, Deb Antney, Tineka “Tiney” Cottle-Harris and others.
MC Lyte wears her success humbly, like a badge of honor. From her own admission she admits she is still one of the busiest people on the planet. Currently she is in the studio working on three songs, traveling, forming scholarships, and dabbling in artist development. The latter two are near and dear to her heart. In fact she has raised $100K in scholarships to the University of Madison, Wisconsin and via her company “Sunny Girl” is currently developing artist. “Labels don’t really develop artists anymore…when you come to them its like you already gotta have a following…they wanna know what your Twitter and social media numbers are…I feel like Usher and Chris Brown were really the last two truly developed artists…that’s important because had my label not spent the money and got my name out there we might not be having this conversation…” She feels that currently female rap/hip-hop is underrepresented; and finds it distressing that labels would rather present traditionally pop artists as rappers. “You know each label has their own hybrid, pop/hip-hop star…you know your Gwen Stefani, your Nelly Furtado, your Iggy Azalea…and here I am as a Black woman I don’t find myself represented…that’s a real problem…”
In her down time, as rare as that is, she likes to bowl, run, and read. She is always open to learning new things and admits the secret to remaining sexy and vivacious is water and not overindulging in anything. “I drink a lot of water…it has a cocktail affect on me, but it’s the healthiest thing for you…” Most people do not know her speaking voice is naturally soft, that she is a naturally docile person, or that she is never bored. “Anyone who says that [they are bored] is not living their lives. There’s too much to do and learn in this world for anyone to ever not be trying to do something that will improve and learn something…”
MC Lyte is undoubtedly a lady for the ages. For over thirty years she has been a driving force in rap/hip-hop and give it a feminine voice. Amazing people, especially women, should always be recognized for their contributions. Hip-Hop may still be male dominated, but if there are more lady MCs and DJ’s like her in the works, the industry might just become Earth’s latest “queendom.” To stay up with MC Lyte, follow her on Twitter/Instagram @mclyte, hit her official fan page on Facebook, and check out her website, www.mclytenow.com.