|hall of female
| interview by tadah
was a while ago, some years ago, that we met MC Lyte.
This female Emcee came to Switzerland, for the second
time that year. This charming, tiny, and may I say:
cute person, with the skillz that no one can doubt,
hadnt even released "Seven And Seven",
so you can see, how long ago that was.
I was reading a lot
of articles lately that have been written about you. In
most of them you were talking about acting. Hows
Its coming along.
You dont wanna
talk about it?
I wasnt giving up any information
in those interviews right?
No, you didnt.
So I wont. Not yet. Im working
on some things, but I dont wanna say anything before
How important do you
think is it, that females are part of hip hop?
I think its very important. Because
you also need the view of a women in this hip hop field,
because since its so male oriented, that otherwise
you would only get a male sided view. I think its
also good for women that listen to hip hop. They wanna
hear a voice that says something that comes from them.
So I think its very important.
What do you think,
can we men learn from the female perspective and point
Oh boy. I think its just wise to
take everything in. So if a female is willing to let you
into her world and see how she operates and handles situations,
you should take this opportunity and vice versa.
What happened to the
Lyte, that was urging for a "Ruffneck"?
Shes older now. She still wants
a ruffneck, but a ruffneck thats a little more into
the same things Im into. Back then, I was still
finding my way and was just someone who was willing to
grow. So Im not looking for the same ruffneck, that
I was looking back for then.
And what did you grow
Just myself, just knowing myself. What
I like, what I dont like. How I want my album to
be, how I want to be perceived, just more in tune with
who I am.
Speaking of albums:
you worked with R.Kelly, Puffy, JD. Where do you go next,
since these are three of the most sought after producers?
Im working on the next album now,
and Im working with the Trackmasters and some guy
called Guiani, who had some stuff out before. He did two
tracks for me. I also got a track from Peter Panic. I
got a track from The Prophecy, They just did Bustas
"Put Your Hands...", and I got two tracks from
Jermain again. And Im supposed to get two from Dr.
Dre, so we see what happens.
Thats a lot
of different kinds of flavor.
I guess you could say that.
When I was reading
a lot of your reviews, many people seemed disappointed
with your last album, because "Aint
No Other" was in a completely different style.
It seems like you are developing into a sound that tries
to be in tune with a wider spectrum of people.
Probably. Im incorporating more
music into my music, that I like. You know, every chance
that I get, Im trying to become part of a song that
existed already, that I was in love with from a child.
Or Im trying to add elements to a song, such as
that, into one of my songs. You know things go through
phases, not only me, but hip hop in general.
So you think the whole
sampling of old songs, is just people sampling what they
liked when they were young?
I think thats what comes into play
when you hear a song and want to sample it, because that
song made you feel a certain way, when you were younger.
I mean with "Cold Rock A Party", with Diana
Ross, not only was she my favorite artist then, but shes
still one of my very favorite artists now. And to think
back then, that in the future, I would be this rapper
MC Lyte, who rapped on a Diana Ross song, I couldnt
even have imagined that happening. And to have made something
like that happen, was a delight to me. I was glad that
I was able to become a part of that song, in some type
Could you bread down
your albums and what do you think of them now, that you
gained a bigger distance to em?
Its funny that you say that, because
I listened to all of my albums, just a week ago.
"Lyte As A Rock" was the first. And to me it
sounds like the first. I was just finding my way, what
I wanted to talk about. But I was still strong in my convictions.
I was still able to get my message across very strongly.
Right after that we did "Eyes On This". And
that had more of a edge to it. I used a lot of different
producers on that one: Parrish from EPMD, Grand Puba,
Milk and Giz from the Audio Two, Marley Marl. And I was
happy with the outcome, with the album as well, for that
period of time.
And then after that "Act Like You Know" came.
During that whole era, what was most constant in my mind
was BBDs (Bell Biv Devoe) remixes. What I think
it was, they were capturing what Puffy was about to capture.
As far as having hip hop with dance. Or as far as having
Rap on top of a song that was RnB, but still
had very strong hip hop influences to it. And when I heard
that, I wondered how I could do this, how can I take it
to where it needs to be. And at that point I sought for
Wolf and Epic who had done the remixes for BBD. And I
worked with them on four tracks for that album and I also
worked with DJ Mark the 45 King, I worked with Milk and
Giz, I had a couple of special appearances on that album.
See I was happy for what it was worth at that time. A
lot of people were like "ooh, she went RnB"
but I needed to do that to make me complete. It made me
content to do that album.
And then the next album after that, was "Aint
No Other" which gave me "Ruff Neck" and
"I Go On" from Teddy Riley. I worked with a
kid named Backspin from Brooklyn, who still today is a
very talented guy, who still has to have the opportunities,
to really show what hes capable of. That album came
out in the ruffneck, hardcore hip hop era. And I was content
with that album as well, for that time. When I listen
to it now, Im like "oh my god, I was screaming
through this album the whole time". It sounds so
"aarrggh", my voice is cutting the record or
something. But people appreciated it for that time. Which
is good for me.
And then "Bad As I Wanna Be" came. I read a
lot of the reviews as well, and the reviews to me were
like: "yes Lyte does something lyrically, but the
production is not up to par". Or I even read one
that said: "Lyte takes a few innuendoes from other
rappers, while in fact shes so large that she shouldnt
do that", or something to that affect. And I think
they were talking about "Cold rock a party in a b-girl
stance", that comes from Run-D.M.C. They were rapping,
well before I was even going to hip hop clubs. That was
my homage I paid for them. I was content with those beats,
if not I wouldnt have taken them. Jermaine did what
he thought people wanted to hear from MC Lyte, you know
after coming from years of listening to MC Lyte. Not only
that, also from knowing me., I know Jermaine since I was
15 years old. He thought people wanted from MC Lyte, the
hard MC Lyte on some smooth tip, and thats how we
got the "T.R.G." and the "Zodiac"
happening and those kind of songs. But that album gave
me "Keep On, Keeping On" and "Cold Rock
A Party", with what Im very happy with.
Im happy with my history so far, I dont think,
of having done anything that Im ashamed of. Somebody
may point the finger and say I should have been ashamed
of that, but as far as Im concerned, I did what
made me happy. And on the next album, I feel like my voice
has even matured even more, and to me, judging from last
week listening to these albums, I sound much more confident,
in who I am, and where I am, and it just feels good. The
next album is called "Seven And Seven".
What do you gain out
Oh boy. First I gain hurt. And then once
I get passed that, I can try to use it constructively.
Providing that person gives it to me constructively.
How did hip hop develop
for yourself and in general?
I would say, that its gotten back
to a vibe that you can dance again. I think we can most
certainly thank Puffy for that, that we can dance in clubs
and not feel as though, as if we have to knock somebody
out, while we are doing it. A lot of hip hop that has
come out was depressive and not so dance orientated where
as in the beginning I remember going to clubs and thats
what it was all about. Back in the day, with Rakims
"I came in the door", people were dancing to
that. To Biz Markie, to Big Daddy Kane, to KRS-One. And
then, for some reason we had a low, and it wasnt
so dance orientated, or the hip hop clubs were closed
and there was no way to go to hear hip hop where you can
dance. You had to go to an underground place and there
wasnt really dancing happening, people were just
standing around smoking their herb, drinking their drink,
listening to hip hop. But now it has come to the point,
its accepted to clubs now, and you can wear shoes,
you even can wear sneakers, because they are that comfortable
now that hip hop is not that off the wall, deranged culture,
creating violent kids, that when they come to your club,
theyre gonna tear it apart. I think we have proven
ourselves, now that we are a taint people. That we can
have a good time, without messing each other up or, the