MC Lyte still a rock in the rap industry

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Inspired at age 11 by hip hop pioneers Salt n’ Pepa, Lana Michele Moorer took on the alias Sparkle and had a rapping partner named Dazzle. But since she and her rapping partner attended different elementary schools and couldn’t make regular co

Inspired at age 11 by hip hop pioneers Salt n’ Pepa, Lana Michele Moorer took on the alias Sparkle and had a rapping partner named Dazzle. But since she and her rapping partner attended different elementary schools and couldn’t make regular contact, Sparkle set off on her own with a new name–MC Lyte.

By the time she was 17, MC Lyte was a hip hop icon.

In 1988, MC Lyte introduced hip hop lovers to “Lyte As A Rock.” And when ears started listening to this new female rapper on the scene, respect soon followed.

MC Lyte was the first rap artist to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the first female rapper to get a gold single, "Ruffneck," (earning her a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Single), and she was honored as the first female solo rapper in 2006’s VH1 "Hip Hop Honors."

MC Lyte, who has been an independent artist since 1988, now has 10 CDs to her credit and is headed back into the lab for an eleventh album, tentatively titled "Second Coming," which will release sometime midyear.

Her 2003 CD "Undaground Heat Volume 1" got her a second Grammy nomination. She’s also completed collaborative songs with neo-soul artists India Arie ("Psalms 23") and Jill Scott ("Hate on Me"), and a trio album in November 2008 called "Almost September" with producers and writers Whitey and Jared Lee.

So with female emcees like MC Lyte being so successful, does she feel like women are getting more respect in hip hop?

"We’ve got a whole bunch of (female artists) that are creative and talk about all sorts of things, but they don’t have major deals so that people can come to know them on a national or international level," MC Lyte shared with the Defender.

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