MC Lyte is known as one of the greatest female rappers of all time. With a career spanning almost 20 years, which began when her first single dropped in 1986, MC Lyte is a woman who changed the game of hip hop with her innovative rhymes and her perspectives as a strong, independent woman.
In October 2006, MC Lyte, along with Lil’ Kim, Da Brat and Remy Ma were inducted into the “VH1 Hip Hop Honors,” which of course is an amazing accomplishment for a female rapper. She is one of the first women to really open the doors for other lady performers and lyrists and promote female empowerment with her words.
On Thursday, Nov. 13, MC Lyte came to Embarcadero Hall to speak about her life. To be honest, I didn’t even know she was coming until that day. However, I had heard of her and knew she was and knew some of her music and thought it might be interesting to see what she has to say about all her accomplishments.
Embarcadero was pretty crowded for such a not-so-well-publicized event. MC Lyte finally arrived about 30 minutes after she was supposed to, and she looked gorgeous. She had on an amazing pair of black boots over her skintight jeans with a gray coat and pink scarf. Her look was flawless.
She was interviewed by a UCSB professor and a radio-show host from KCSB. In her interview, she talked about her upbringing, being born in Brooklyn, growing up with a working mother and even at such a young age knowing what she was destined to do in life.
Her first single, “I Cram to Understand U (Sam)” was followed by her first album, Lyte As a Rock in 1988, which established her in the hip hop world. It was not until her 1993 Ain’t No Other album where she was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Single with her #1 song “Ruffneck.” She was the first-ever female rapper to have a single go gold. She was already a veteran in the music world and switched over to acting and voiceover work. She has appeared in shows such as “Moesha,” “My Wife and Kids,” “Half & Half” and many more. Some of her voiceover work continues today with B.E.T. shows and even Mattel.
MC Lyte is also an activist and a motivational speaker. She has worked closely with Rock the Vote and publicly worked hard for this year’s election, speaking out for President-elect Barack Obama.
Whenever she can, she travels around to universities across the country speaking to young men and women and motivating them about being the best you can be and how to be successful in life. She has just put out her first book filled with poetry, and her first clothing line will be debuting in stores soon.
She wasn’t afraid to rise to the top as a woman and take over what was once known as a man’s world. She is nothing short of an inspiration to not just women but men as well. She continues today to make music, write, act and, most importantly, motivate others to be the best they can be in life.