MC Lyte: Poetic Justice

Pioneer, icon, trendsetter. Any of these words can be used to describe one of Hip-Hop’s official first lady’s, MC Lyte. These day’s however, she’s feeling another title, author. As she ventures in to yet another medium to get her message to the masses, Lyte uses a tool that she has come to master-words. As an […]

Pioneer, icon, trendsetter. Any of these words can be used to describe one of Hip-Hop’s official first lady’s, MC Lyte. These day’s however, she’s feeling another title, author. As she ventures in to yet another medium to get her message to the masses, Lyte uses a tool that she has come to master-words. As an acclaimed MC and an accomplished actress, Lyte, has been “Cha Cha Cha’ing” her way through Hip-Hop for over a decade and now she is manifesting her handle on the vernacular buy way of self- publishing. The female mc known for being “Lyte as a Rock” is sharing her thoughts and feelings by way of her book, Just My Take-A Book of Poetry and Words of Inspiration. Easily one of the first women to flex their lyrical skills to contend with men in their own arena while holding it down for the ladies, Lyte understands the power behinds words as well as the power behind her celebrity so being consistent with her passion for uplifting the youth, she developed this book as a tool to help younger folks in a different manner. What made you want to do a poetry book?

MC Lyte: I don’t really look at it as a poetry book I think because the title has poetry and words of wisdom that people may think that, but I may have maybe three or four things in there that may be relatable to what poetry usually is like some type of rhythm to it but the rest of the book is words of inspiration. I read a review that made me want to read it because it spoke of you as a mc vs. you giving words of inspiration. It was a good review in that it said it was a good tool for youth who need the inspiration but if hip-hop fans were expecting the usual lyrical brevity of Lyte the MC then that’s not what this book is about, would you say that’s a fair assessment?

MC Lyte: Yeah, well I guess that makes sense, I think it’s a different take on what I have to give and to offer people and this is why I really don’t count it as poetry because not much of the stuff has a rhythm or words that rhyme or things that you usually look for as far as poetry goes, but with this that’s exactly right I just wanted to be able to touch the lives of youth in a different way than we’re used to seeing rappers do. It’s very necessary, what prompted it?

MC Lyte: Well someone had given me a book and said create somewhat of a journal type book and for some reason I had not written in it at all and I had it for about a year maybe longer and one day I just woke up and started writing in it and I said I’m gonna write every morning until I don’t anymore and I think I wrote for about seventy something days. What types of issue did you touch on that are important for young people to understand?

MC Lyte: Honesty, integrity, secrets, success being motivated just things that they ought to know. Things that can help them get ahead in life just a little bit more through someone else helping them out. I was having a conversation with someone in the industry about women in the industry and the issues that they deal with and his basic feeling was that it’s virtually impossible for a female to get on without compromising themselves in some capacity, how do you feel about that and is that something you had to deal with in your career and if so how did you deal with it?

MC Lyte: having to deal with progression in a way that was negative is that what you mean? Yes.

MC Lyte: I don’t know I guess I had a great beginning with the first priority family. It was all about the talent it was all about what I wanted to put forth in the music it was all about me staying true to who I really was and I guess because I had that foundation I was able to set the standard for what was acceptable to me or for me? Are we going to learn anything about MC Lyte in the book that we don’t already know?

MC Lyte: Oh absolutely not. [laughs] not this book, the most you’ll learn is that I care and anyone who knows MC Lyte already knows that, that I care about the youth and I feel that that’s been pretty explanatory in many of my songs and the lyrics that I put forth so for me mc Lyte caring isn’t anything new. I am doing a memoir which will at that point go into a whole other world of who I am but for this book I just wanted to be able to help so people and to also help myself cause in sharing it’s also therapy. Yeah, they say we usually teach what we need to learn.

MC Lyte: Absolutely. Over the years you’ve gone from B-Girl to glamour girl…

MC Lyte: [Laughs] I have? I’m still a B-Girl. Yes, but you’re a glamorous B-Girl now and your one of the few who can do classy sexy not slutty sexy?

MC Lyte: Well absolutely that way doesn’t speak to me or for me. Do you feel like women who play the other side of the coin hurt female images in hip-hop or is it just self-expression?

MC Lyte: No, I think they should be allowed to do whatever but I also think that record labels and anyone who has anything to say as far as advertising and marketing should also show the other side of the coin. Was it your transition to television that made you a glamour girl or just maturing?

MC Lyte: Yeah, that’s what it is just getting older and growing and trying new things and styles of fashion but it all still being very much a part of who I am so I don’t really feel uncomfortable and stepping out into something to different. the book is available now what’s next?

MC Lyte: Well, its available at and several independent book stores and possibly in the works of having it in the major chains but I have to decide if I want to lose such a big part of my earnings You’re self-published right?

MC Lyte: Yes I was learning as I went. Is it much different from the music industry?

MC Lyte: Yeah, because as a publisher of music my company is with a bigger publisher so I’m still being taken care of in a sense. With self-publishing this book it’s pretty much all on me the editing, the printing, the illustration and all the different parts. : So what’s in your immediate future?

MC Lyte: Well, I’m working on a new album I have six songs done and I’m courting a couple of rappers to get on it, not too many though just two, then hopefully we can secure some type of deal. Then there’s the acting, Half & Half starts shooting again in August and I’m also opening a boutique in the valley where we’ll have new and used clothing, a little something for everyone. I’m just trying to keep myself busy.