There must be such a thrill in being first in your particular field. Recently I related to a friend an experience while working at a newspaper twenty years ago. I always had a very large and diverse client base, which included several entrepreneurs of technical service firms. One of my clients was a young man who worked as a computer technician. As he spoke with me about his company, he explained that he built websites. Remember, this was twenty years ago and so I asked, “What is a website?” Impressively, the young man defined websites and even explained in detail how they along with the internet would be a major part of our civilization very soon. Well, he placed a small advertisement offering to build websites for businesses. After about a four week run, he stopped his campaign. He told me because of the success of the advertisement, he had more business than he could handle.
Whenever I tell this story I usually end it right there with the words, “and the rest is history”. I never imagined how much impact the internet would have upon my life, and definitely did not think I would own several websites twenty years later. Nevertheless, here we are. Moreover, I realized how the young man could see what so many of us could not. Certainly, he did not invent the internet, or websites for that matter, but he was one of a few whom I can safely call an innovator. He had the ability to act upon his advanced knowledge and explain what and why concerning the internet. The music industry is similar because it is ever changing. However, just imagine if you could go back to the early stages of hip-hop. If you only knew at that time what you know now. Our featured artist this week does not need to wonder about hip-hop in its early stages. She was right there starting her rise to fame. This week we feature MC Lyte.
Lyte was born Lana Michelle Moorer in 1970. Raised in Brooklyn, Lyte began rhyming at the age of 12. As she approaches thirty years in the music industry, there is little that MC Lyte has not accomplished. MC Lyte always has her finger on Hip Hop’s pulse. Many are familiar with her stellar music making skills, but over the course of her extensive career, MC Lyte has ventured out to other avenues that have allowed her to show the world just how talented she truly is.
There are certain descriptive words entertainers can gain throughout any musical career. Many are able to become veterans by remaining in the industry for a number of years. Others gain the label of prolific as they gain critical acclaim. However, only a select few, and in some cases only one, can be called a pioneer in the music industry. When I hear that word applied to an entertainer, it immediately brings to mind another word: first. As pioneer in the industry, MC Lyte opened the door for future female Hip Hop artists by daring to do what had never been done while doing something she loved. MC Lyte is the FIRST rap artist ever to perform at New York’s historic Carnegie Hall, the FIRST female rapper to ever receive a gold single, the FIRST female solo rapper ever nominated for a Grammy and in 2006, MC Lyte became the FIRST solo female rapper to be honored/inducted on VH-1’s HIP HOP HONORS.
Lyte has without doubt earned respect in and outside the music industry. I said many times I am very happy to live at this time with the ability to enjoy many great musicians careers. MC Lyte is one of those performers whom I have observed from the start down to this moment. Although stellar throughout recordings, concerts and occasional television and movie appearances, Lyte always remains a grounded and giving person. A part of her biography gives us a glimpse into MC Lyte (Lana Moorer) the person:
A role model to women and respected by men everywhere, MC Lyte never compromises who she is and consistently displays that a woman can turn heads fully clothed! Whenever possible, MC Lyte enjoys traveling across the nation to use her expertise and story of success to motivate others to take ownership of the world around them while striving to be the best they can possibly be. Author of “UNSTOPPABLE: Igniting the Power Within to Achieve Your Greatest Potential,” MC Lyte provides keynote addresses at educational institutions, community centers and corporations around the globe and is also very active in many social projects, including anti-violence campaigns, HIV / AIDs prevention, and Rock the Vote. MC Lyte resides in Los Angeles, California, reigns as the CEO of Sunni Gyrl, Inc. and Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, is a trustee and the immediate past President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy (Grammy organization), is co-host of the nationally syndicated Cafe Mocha radio show, and is a proud honorary member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
MC Lyte continues to make music as she released the single “Cravin” and plans to release a new album soon. Until that time, MC Lyte continues to be an innovative artist. She also inspires other young artists as she brings us the best hip-hop music possible.