25 March 2012

Pioneer Series: MC Lyte

The groovy thing about doing these Pioneer Series is that I like to think that I'm actually educating some people about the history of major movers and shakers in hip-hop. I know that *I* learn while doing research. Case in point: today's esteemed topic is MC Lyte; did you know that she is the younger sister of Gizmo and Milk Dee of Audio Two? You know, the "Top Billin'" guys? Did you even know that Audio Two was a sibling duo? See, even the teacher can learn...

Well, Audio Two hit it big in 1987 and as a result was able to help put their little sister on future collaborations. MC Lyte, born Lana Moorer, began rapping in her preteen years and holds the fame of being the first solo female rapping act to release a full length studio album, that being Lyte As A Rock, released in 1988. Her debut album is instantly recognized as a hip-hop classic, having spawned such hits as "Paper Thin" and "10% Dis," the latter being a diss rap, one of many that helped propel MC Lyte to the top of rap stardom. She also became known for her sociopolitically concious raps, like "Poor Georgie," popularly misnamed as "Georgie Poorgie."

She helped raise the flag for female emcees, spawning an era of strong dominant acts that would include Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa and others. She was able to transform her success on the charts into a more mainstream presence over the years, moving into voice-over and acting gigs on stage, television and film. In addition to acting, she has also ventured into the world of fashion, opening a boutique in southern California.

She is arguably one of the most intense, most skilled and most lyrical emcees of all time, let alone of her era. Notice I didn't say "female emcees." MC Lyte should definitely be on your lists and if you don't know, you're wrong!

Recommended Listening:

10% Dis (single)
Lyte As A Rock (album)
Poor Georgie (single)
Ruffneck (single)
Cha Cha Cha (single)
Ride Wit Me (single)
Eyes On This (album)

Tune in next time as Best In The Mix covers the newest mixtape by Big K.R.I.T. and after that, a new Pioneer Series on Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott!

Nifty World: Get on and get right or get left!

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