This month marks 25 years since Brooklyn rapper MC Lyte released her debut album, Lyte As A Rock, and the noted emcee is continuing to make her presence known in Hip Hop. Thanks to her various accomplishments, MC Lyte will soon be awarded the “I Am Hip Hop” award, an award that serves as a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards.
MC Lyte spoke briefly on the award during a recent interview with Houston’s Majic 102.1 and expressed her excitement at this latest nod.
“I just got the word that I’m receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the [BET] Hip Hop Awards this year. I’m excited. This is a good time to be living,” she revealed.
With well over two decades in Hip Hop, MC Lyte also offered a few words of advice to up-and-comers as she stressed the importance of individuality in the genre and in the process gave kudos to Kanye West, Jay Z, and even Seattle lyricist Macklemore.
“Hip Hop was founded on truth. And that’s why it’s gone so much astray. So, I would just say to those who are aspiring…is that people are ready for something new. So, never feel like what you’re hearing is enough,” MC Lyte explained. “There’s always someone who’s gonna push the bar and take it in a different direction. And I think those people become the monumental points of reference in this genre. You know, Kanye is one of those people. Jay Z is one of those people. Macklemore is now one of these people who are willing to take the boundaries and push them even further in terms of context.”
In addition to helping aspiring emcees with a few words of wisdom, MC Lyte will also soon help those in pursuit of a higher education thanks to a $100,000 scholarship the rapstress and Hip Hop Sisters Network are offering to a student hoping to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“We got big things happening. Big, big things happening…Working on a lot with the scholarship,” said the rapper. “I should talk about the scholarship. It’s a $100,000 scholarship for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. And if you know of a senior that’s going to be looking to further their education please send them to HipHopSisters.org to sign up and apply for a $100,000 scholarship.”
Lastly, MC Lyte spoke on the influence fellow rapper Slick Rick had on her as an emcee and revealed her former rap name.
“That’s the first time I ever felt like I sounded like Slick Rick…He probably so influenced me with that ‘Children’s Story’ and all of those—with ‘La Di Da Di’ and all those great storytelling features that the wonderful Slick Rick gave us…I do remember that my name was Sparkle, MC Sparkle,” shared MC Lyte. “I was influenced by the original Sparkle with Irene Cara and so I decided I was gonna name myself Sparkle, which was funny.”
Video of MC Lyte’s interview with Majic 102.1 can be found below.