Jalen Rose recently hosted the legendary MC Lyte on his Renaissance Man podcast where she discussed highlights from her thirty year career. Rose showered the "Paper Thin" MC with accolades for releasing the first full length rap album by a solo MC, being the first female MC nominated for a Grammy Award, the first female rap artist to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and first to achieve Gold sales for a rap single ("Ruffneck.")
I would never tell someone to go into a basement of a house where they know absolutely no one except the guy that brought them there."
- MC Lyte
Lyte explains that she'd rapped since she was 12 years old, but she realized that she had true talent upon meeting a group of people who would start her on her journey to musical greatness.
"I guess the true moment was when I met Milk & Giz and Nat Robinson of First Priority Records," she remembered. "It was an audition, but I didn't look at it as an audition. My guy Eric, who I went to school with, said 'Come with me to Staten Island, they have a record label they're looking for female artists.'"
Lyte explains that she went to Staten Island by way of the ferry on a cold day with rhyme book in hand, jumped in a Thunderbird and proceeded to the basement of a house where the audition took place.
"There were like nine guys in the basement all waiting for me to get there. I opened up the rhyme book, grabbed the mic and started goin' and they were like yeah! I guess that's when I knew." Lyte also explained the importance of her labelmates the Audio Two and their hit "Top Billin" on her career. "I came on the heels of their record, so we had records out at the same time and anything that anybody wanted them for, they had to take me."
When speaking of her rise in the male-dominated rap industry, Lyte says that she realizes the danger of being the only female in a basement full of males at the start of her career, and she is thankful that the gentlemen didn't have ill intentions. She called her actions a "recipe for disaster."
"I would never tell someone to go into a basement of a house where they know absolutely no one except the guy that brought them there," she said. The Brooklyn wordsmith was recently celebrated by the RIAA along with Grandmaster Flash for her successful recording career that spanned well into the 1990s. MC Lyte's Partners In Rhyme, which airs on AllBLK, just started its second season.