MC Lyte Officially Reclaims Rights To Her Stage Name After 30 Years

By Kiani Shabzz

MC Lyte officially owns the rights to her stage name after a 30 year battle with her former record label. 

The “Ruffneck” rapper shared an Instagram post of her unwrapping her trademark registration paperwork, revealing to fans she finally owns the rights to her own name. In the video, Lyte proudly read the declaration that her brand is officially protected. 


“Congratulations on the federal registration of your trademark,'” she read. “‘Enjoy the everlasting peace of having a protected brand that you now have the exclusive right to use across the United States and the globe.’ Wow. There it is. There it is. Trademark. Thank you, Michelle Miller.”

In the post’s caption, the New York emcee explained that she lost the rights to her stage name after her record deal with First Priority Music/Atlantic Records granted the label rights to her name.

“Own Your Brand- For years, I was signed to a major label, and they owned the rights to my name,” the rapper wrote in the post. “I created the name Lyte in 1985 that helped solidify my career in Hip Hop. I signed to the infamous @firstprioritymusic, and they added the MC, appropriately due. We were blessed to sign a huge deal with a major label.”

After learning that the copyright was close to expiration from her old friend and former First Priority label mate DJ Nat “Gizmo” Robinson, she took his advice and made moves to reclaim ownership with help from her legal team.

“Not too long ago, I received a call from the OG Nat Robinson who shared the copyright the label owned of my name was about to expire, and if I wanted to grab it I should do it now,” she continued. “I put COO @lynnrichardson on top of it, and she put it in the hands of Trademark Attorney @michellejmilleresq, and the rest is history! Thank you to all involved![pink heart emoji] [folded hands emoji] [pink heart emoji] [folded hands emoji].”

Congratulations to MC Lyte for gaining ownership of your iconic stage name. Keep it locked to Rock The Bells for more hip-hop news.