MC Lyte: "Hearing MC Sha-Rock Made Me Feel Like I Had a Voice"

MC Lyte: "Hearing MC Sha-Rock Made Me Feel Like I Had a Voice"

Published Mon, March 27, 2023 at 2:57 PM EDT

In an interview with Spin, MC Lyte recently explained what initially drew her to Hip-Hop -- pointing to the genre's women MCs as inspiration.

"Hip-hop felt like it was calling me," she said. "I was inspired by Melle Mel and “The Message” [1982]. It called me to want to tell a story and paint a picture. Hearing MC Sha-Rock and other female rappers made me believe I had a voice and that I could speak life into others. Listening to Salt-N-Pepa gave me confidence [that] if they could do it, so could I. I also had a writing partner named Eric Cole who was extremely supportive and pushed me to write."

Lyte, who was the first woman MC to release a full-length solo album, also talked about working in an industry dominated by men, saying it wasn't much of a consideration for her.

"I didn’t give much thought to that factor," she said. "I just put my all in and didn’t hold back. I thought nothing of competition. My goal was to speak of a message to influence and inspire my generation."

She also talked about her current work, which includes several gigs in television. "Right now, I’m on set of Favorite Sonon BET, in which I play the role of Sister Mae," she said. "Partners in Rhyme is in its second season on ALLBLK and just started airing on WE tv. I serve as executive producer along with Lynn Richardson, Brett Dismuke, Bentley Evans, and Nikki Love. I’m appearing in a new series calledAngelas Detective Monroe on BET+. Our company Sunni Gyrl is in partnership with The Kennedy Center producing two amazing projects: MC Lyte Presents Warryn Campbell’sMy Blockwith Mary Mary, Erica Campbell and the Walls Group on April 9; and the second installment ofI Am Woman: A Celebration of Women in Hip Hop on June 4."

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