She’s a rap legend and founding member of the Kennedy Heart Hip-Hop Tradition Council. This Friday evening, MC Lyte hosts “I Am Lady: A Celebration of Ladies in Hip Hop.”
WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews MC Lyte at Kennedy Heart (Half 1)
She’s a rap legend and founding member of the Kennedy Heart Hip-Hop Tradition Council.
This Friday evening, MC Lyte hosts “I Am Woman: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop.”
“It’s obligatory and overdue,” MC Lyte instructed WTOP. “I’m so glad that the Kennedy Heart, for his or her fiftieth anniversary, determined to decide on me to assist curate an exquisite evening the place we get to bathe love and a spotlight on these emcees who not often get the highlight. … I’m trying ahead to it as a result of I’ll be immersed in an evening of reside efficiency.”
MC Lyte hosts and headlines a live performance that includes Da Brat, Trina, Remy Ma, Monie Love, Mumu Contemporary, Yo Yo, Mama Sol, Tierra Whack, Ra Brown and DJ EQUE.
“Da Brat has been a good friend of mine since we met by way of So So Def and Jermaine Dupri once I was on tour with Kris Kross,” Lyte stated. “Remy serves on our Hip-Hop Sisters Basis. … I did a lineup for Essence Competition in New Orleans and Trina was on that invoice. … I can name any of them up and say, ‘Hey, we’re heading to the Kennedy Heart!’”
Born in New York Metropolis in 1970, Lyte grew up in Brooklyn earlier than hip-hop blew up.
“If I had been to take you again to the ’70s in Brooklyn, I don’t know if there could be a lot hip-hop,” Lyte stated. “I acquired my dose of hip-hop in Spanish Harlem the place my grandmother lived. That’s the place I heard The Treacherous Three, Kurtis Blow, Afrika Bambaataa and the Funky 4 + 1 Extra, which concerned Sha-Rock, the primary feminine emcee I ever heard.”
She stated the burgeoning style didn’t arrive in Brooklyn till the late ’70s.
“As soon as we get into the late ’70s the place now we have The Sugarhill Gang on mainstream radio, that’s when it form of filtrated into Brooklyn,” Lyte stated. “At that time, then I started to listen to the ‘La Di Da Di,’ Slick Rick & Doug E. Contemporary, Salt-N-Pepa had a tune ‘Showstoppers,’ Erik B. & Rakim, quite a lot of these within the early ’80s with Run-D. M. C. and so forth and so forth.”
Listening to her idols, she started jotting lyrics of her personal.
“I had a composition e-book, I’d write rhymes and poetry,” Lyte stated. “Within the seventh grade we’d begin banging on the desk, banging on the lunch desk,” Lyte stated. “We’d have our rhymes, we’d write them forward of time. … All people would clap and assist each other, it wasn’t quite a lot of battling at the moment, we had been all a part of the identical crew.”
Her classmate Eric Cole invited her to audition for the upstart label First Precedence.
“He known as me up and stated there was a label that he simply signed to and so they had been in search of a feminine emcee,” Lyte stated. “We acquired on the Staten Island Ferry and I auditioned. … There have been about 9 or ten guys in a basement. … I opened up my rhyme e-book and producer Milk D got here up with a observe on the spot for one among my rhymes out of my e-book.”
First Precedence partnered with Atlantic Data to make Lyte the first solo feminine rapper to launch a full album on a significant label with “Lyte as a Rock” (1988), that includes such catchy tracks as “I Am Lady,” “Paper Skinny,” “10% Dis” and “I Cram to Perceive U.”
“All of that was just about in my rhyme e-book already,” Lyte stated.
Her subsequent album “Eyes on This” (1988) featured her most iconic tune “Cha Cha Cha.”
“King of Chill … wrote and produced ‘Cha Cha Cha’, one of many few songs that another person wrote in my profession,” Lyte stated. “I believed it was corny. I used to be like, ‘Til this Mardi Gras?’ What the hell? He was saying stuff on this actually awkward approach like, ‘Properly, effectively, effectively, I’ll be damned, may as effectively let you know who I’m.’ It was awkward for me, however I’m glad I did it.”
She earned her first Grammy nomination for “Ruffneck” (1993).
“I went down with Teddy Riley with the Future Recording Studio in Virginia Seaside,” Lyte stated. “After I walked in … they already knew they needed me to rhyme to that observe with one of many gents there, Aqil Davidson, a part of Wreckx-n-Impact. … I reside amongst all Caribbean of us … they name themselves ‘Ruffnecks.’ Proper there the thought was born.”
She earned one other Grammy nomination for “Journey Wit Me” (2003).
“‘Journey With Me’ was thrilling,” Lyte stated. “We did it with a manufacturing firm, Mad Funk. … We did a video for it, quite a lot of of us confirmed as much as assist MC Lyte for the video, which I believed was dope. … Sadly, the man in control of the entire promotion handed of throat most cancers actually two days earlier than the report got here out. … Nevertheless, we nonetheless prevailed.”
In 2008, she made VH1’s 100 Best Songs of Hip Hop with “Cha Cha Cha” at No. 54.
“After I see a tune on a type of top-ranked hip-hop lists, I am going, ‘Yeah,’” Lyte stated. “I get riled up once I see nothing. After I go, ‘What? How did I not make the record in any respect?’ I don’t actually care what tune makes it. When it’s not there’s once I discover.”
In the long run, how does she wish to be remembered?
“Positively a trailblazer that spoke fact to energy and gave again,” Lyte stated. “Now we have a basis known as Hip Hop Sisters. We’ve given away over $1 million in scholarships during the last 10 years to younger youngsters seeking to additional their training. Proper now our partnership is with Dillard College. … Giving again is extraordinarily essential to me.”
WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews MC Lyte at Kennedy Heart (Half 2)