The many first feats of MC Lyte while being a pillar of feminism and respect for women in Hip Hop
MC Lyte – born Lana Michelle Moorer – is a lady of many firsts. She started rhyming at 12.
Also, she debuted on the New York Hip Hop scene in 1986 with her first single, “I Cram to Understand U,” and since then the Brooklyn rapper native has been on the move.
She is regarded as the first woman to tackle any issue of feminism in Hip Hop, using her rap to berate the lack of respect for females from male rappers. Her maiden album, ‘Lyte as a Rock’ is the first full-length album from a female rapper.
After ‘Lyte as a Rock’ came ‘Eyes on This’, which had Lyte’s first hit single “Cha Cha Cha” that spent 18 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, proving that MC Lyte was no fluke and that her lyrical offerings were well rooted.
Lyte went on to release five more albums: ‘Act Like You Know’, ‘Ain’t No Other’, ‘Bad As I Wanna Be’, ‘Seven & Seven’, and ‘Da Underground Heat, Vol. 1’, all of which have been critically acclaimed and regarded as some of the golden era’s greatest work, male or female. She was the first female nominated for a Hip Hop Grammy (for the single “Ruffneck), the first to have an album sell gold (for Act Like You Know), and pretty much Hip Hop’s go to girl during the golden age.
MC Lyte is credited with showing the way for all the notable female MC’s loved now and times past including Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott.
Legendary MC Lyte is also the first female solo hip hop artist to receive the BET ‘I Am Hip Hop ICON’ Award. First female to perform hip hop in the White House and first African American female to serve as the President of the Los Angeles chapter of the Recording Academy (Grammy Organization).
She is one of the most prolific and well-respected female Hip Hop artists of all-time and crucially for one who emerged in the 1980s, she’s consistently found ways to reinvent herself musically, while expanding her resume and gaining new fans.
MC Lyte is the first rap artist ever to perform at New York’s historic Carnegie Hall, the first female rapper to ever receive a gold single. She has graced network television as well as the big screen. She has been the voice behind the VH1 Hip Hop Honors and national campaigns for Wherehouse Music, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike. On the music front she’s offered the ‘LEGEND’ album.
MC Lyte is a public speaker and author and resides in Los Angeles, California, and reigns as the CEO of Sunni Gyrl, Inc. She chairs the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, which has presented over $850,000 in college scholarships. The 48-year-old is worth $8 million and married to businessman John Wyche.