Hip hop icon MC Lyte gives her thoughts on the current state of hip hop.
via: Page Six
The hip hop legend — who in 1988 became the first female MC to release an album, “Lyte as a Rock” — told Page Six recently that today’s super-sexual rappers seem more interested in showing off their bodies than expressing their thoughts.
“I recently told somebody it would be really old-school for me to perform on stage with pants,” she told us, “Nobody wears pants. It’s that type of thing where everybody’s giving Rockettes and Vegas showgirl flavor.”
Lil Kim started to bring sex into female rap in the 1990s, but a recent wave of stars including Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj have found phenomenal success wearing skimpy stage clothes and making racy videos.
“I’m happy that anyone feels great in their body. Perhaps if I had a different type of body I would be like, ‘Hey see this?,’” the 51-year-old said, “However my walk has been extremely different from that in the very beginning. I didn’t want people to look at me. I wanted them to hear me because I had something to say and I wanted them to pay attention to my words.”
And when asked about any past desired to have plastic surgery, Lyte — who’s real name is Lana Moorer — says she “never felt the pressure” to do so.
“I never felt the pressure to do any plastic surgery. I actually might have the smallest butt in the industry and it’s OK, it’s mine, it belongs to me. If I had the guts I might do something different but all the horror stories I hear I rather just go ahead drop and do some squats.”
The “Ruffneck” artist is considered one of the many pioneers in hip hop, particularly for her storytelling rhyme style. Also known for her gold chains and door knocker earrings paired with baggy jeans and oversized shirts — the popular street style of the time — as well as on stage.
The rapper says that she blames mainstream culture seeping into the old school hip hop underground, and bringing Hollywood’s male gaze with it.
“Everything we have seen in hip hop we have seen in the movies forever; we seen on television. We literally to this day still see woman in a lot of nothing holding up cards prancing around a boxing ring to say, ‘This Round One, Round Two, Round Three,’” she said, “It’s not anything new — it’s just that the powers that be have found a way to monetize hip hop to the umpteenth power and that’s why using every tactic that they were already used in other forms of media.”
She told us that she wished that talented underground female rappers like Rhapsody and Tierra Whack could get more mainstream attention, even though they don’t shine a spotlight on their bodies.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of time, effort, money, marketing and branding going into those artists. It’s much easier to sell sex than anything else,” she said.
MC Lyte’s new sitcom “Partners in Rhyme” will stream on Allblk network begining Nov. 18.
With MC Lyte’s full interview below.