I had the pleasure and the honor of speaking with one of Hip Hop’s legendary pioneers, MC LYTE. LYTE busted on the scene with hit single, Paper Thin, and was the first solo female rapper to release a full album with critically acclaimed Lyte as a Rock. MC LYTE gave us her prediction for the genre and culture of Hip Hop, defined REAL Hip Hop, and explain what would happen if it doesn’t reconnect back to its roots.
Lisa Ford: Hip Hop has come a long way since Paper Thin. I guess we have emerging artists like Jalen McMillan to thank for that. First of all, I represent the culture of REAL Hip Hop and we are Anti-Autotunes. You are a leader of a movement that has changed the entire world. When Paper Thin came out, it was just about us. And every woman I know wanted to be you. If you had to predict the future of Hip Hop, what would be your prediction? (LISTEN)
MC LYTE: On HIP HOP’S FUTURE
Hip Hop has grew from the back of poetry. However, now, it has gone to new dimensions, which is fantastic because It has put a lot of us to work. It has put our family members to work. I supported my mother off of it (laughter), but that’s another story…
I think (Hip Hop) is going back to its essence. It has to. I literally sit in the Grammy board meetings and we’re having arguments about the screening process of a Hip Hop record…on whether or it belongs in the Hip Hop category or rather it belongs in the Pop category. All of that to say that I think that we’re going to have almost subculture…which is again, back ‘poetry’ because (this subculture) will not be about monetization. People will say what they want, like we use to do back in the day, when we made records, without this ‘we have to sell a record’ thing hanging over our head and without the pressure of having to show up on somebody’s billboard chart. We showed up on the chart because we gave our heart.
MC LYTE: On REAL HIP HIP
For me? ‘Poetry’ is the REAL hip hop right at this moment. When we said the things that meant the most because they were all truth.
MC LYTE: On REPERCUSSIONS OF FAKENESS
Until we’re able to get to a place where REAL HIP HOP becomes mainstream, we’re gonna to spLit off. Because there is Hip Hop that exists, that is very conscious and awake. But the Hip Hop I hear now is like ‘Dead-Man Walking’ music. It doesn’t make you think. It doesn’t inspire you to be better. It leaves you with absolutely nothing.
It’s as if some party is going on 24 hours per day and no one has any worries. The men that are rapping pretend they’re not married, but they are. They’re married AND they have kids. And they say the weirdest things. Not only weird, but degrading and insulting to women & kids. And some of them have daughters. How do they not think this is perpetuating a situation that they will have to soon deal with when their daughters get older.
MC LYTE: On COPING WITH THE MADNESS
I am a little perturb at where Hip Hop is right now BUT I am still optimistic because with the Internet, where I can go on and find people that are rhyming about things of substance…that can help…that DOES inspire.
MC LYTE’S EFFORTS TO INSPIRE
For little girls, I have a site that’s called Hip Hop Sisters where they’re able to get on there and showcase their music, their talent, their videos, their pictures. And while they are respected and treated like the true queens that they are.
For more information on MC LYTE’S organization click HipHopStisters.com.
On the Miami Gardens, FL annual Music Festival click JazzInTheGardens.com.
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