I had an opportunity to exchange emails with the one and only MC Lyte. I finally got her to agree to an interview, which turned into an email interview and then it turned into what follows. Now there is no doubt about Lyte’s place in the Hip Hop, she set the guidelines for all the females that followed in her footsteps. She did her thing in the ‘Self Destruction’ cause, placing her in the mix with tons of the All Time Greats and I asked her about this too. I tried to ask her about some things that I haven’t seen in other interviews with her. It was real hard becuase I had to email her my questions. She edited some and deleted a few, but I think it went as well as an email interview can do. In the end I was pretty excited to get a chance to interview one of the all time innovators. So here is:
WYDU: We did an interview late last year with your brother Milk. How did you being related to Audio Two help you in the rap game?
Lyte: Definitely helped. Matter of fact the label didn’t want to sign and me and my brothers were like if you don’t sign Lyte you can’t sign us.
WUDU: What are some memories of the time frame when they were just getting started and then Top Billin Blew Up?
Lyte: Performing at YMCA’s standing on top of tables with a mic that had tape all over it keeping it together. Lot of laughing and alot of hard work.
WYDU: Can you talk about what events happend to lead to your career in hip-hop?
Lyte: Not much to tell and certainly it’s been printed a gazillion times. All the pieces just fell in the right places.
WYDU: How did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
Lyte: Thought it was a great way for a young girl to get a message out across the world
WYDU: What are/were some of your influences?
Lyte: Salt n Pepa. Rakim, Run DMC, Sweet T. All of them.
WYDU: Talk about “Cram to Understand U” your first single. Did this come from a true experience?
Lyte: No I completely made it up. Just wanted to put it in story form so people could enjoy it.
WYDU: What was life like on First Priority Music?
Lyte: A huge family. We all got along and had a lot of fun together.
WYDU: Can you elaborate a little on your “rivaly” with Antoinette.
Lyte: It really didn’t exist. We had a back and forth situation but it was all cause of the dudes. I was fighting Audio 2 battle and she was fighting Herbie Luv Bugs.
WYDU: How do you feel about some of the old school battles back in the day as compared to the ones now-a-days such as Game vs 50 Cent?
Lyte: I think it’s good for the airwaves, but that’s it. I like that with 50 and Kanye it made me buy both of their downloads the day they released on itunes.
WYDU: What was the whole Self Destruction experience like?
Lyte: Now that I look back it was one of the moments that I’ll never forget. A moment that could never be duplicated and I’m honored to have been a part of it.
WYDU: It must have been fun to be able to put out a positive message on record, plus to be able to be around all these rap legends, can you talk a little bit about that and also filming the video?
Lyte: Well at the time we all weren’t really legends yet. Of course KRS, CHUCK, PE, Kane and a host of others had put our stamp on the map, we were still young and making it happen. Later we became legends because of all that we accomplished.
WYDU: Ruffneck was a little more hard hitting that your fans were used to, what kind of reaction did you get from your long time fans?
Lyte: They loved it. Totally BK. I had always had songs on my CD’s that were hardcore and that certainly gave it to them.
WYDU: You got to work with Missy on “Cold Rock a Party”. Tell us about her abilities and talents, how is working with her and all of that talent?
Lyte: She’s good and she’s quick. She finda the melody very quickly. She sleeps, breathes and lives melody and music. She’s great!
WYDU: How do you like acting?
Lyte: I love it. It gives me a chance to get into character.
WYDU: What an honor to host the pre show of Hip Hop Honors.
Lyte: Yeah, I had a ball too. It was great seeing all the MC’s and DJ’s that paved the way for all of us.
WYDU: What is it like being honored at Hip Hop Honors? Thats a “Life Time Achievement” award!
Lyte: It felt great. The performance was hot and I enjoyed putting it all together with the ladies.
WYDU: You worked with DJ Premier on “Wonder Years” can you tell us about that experience? and also how working with him was different from other producers you have
Lyte: Well first off, we had wanted to work together for years. However our labels couldn’t make it happen, so we finally did it ourselves. He’s a breeze. Real easy to work with.
WYDU: Was Celebrity Rap Superstar difficult? What I mean how was it trying to teach someone to rap in a short amount of time?
Lyte: Hah, Shar had so much styke to begin with. She just neede her confidence to shine.
WYDU: How do you feel about the music industry today?
Lyte: I think there’s so much more to do. I think the power in the fan’s hands. Buy what you want to support and chuck what ain’t working.
WYDU: How do you feel about downloading?
Lyte: I download all the time but I pay for it all.
WYDU: You’ve gotten into a lot of different business opportunities, how is your Shaitel Botique doing?
Lyte:It’s ok. I like owning a business however the clothing business is not an easy one or everyone would be doing it.
Check Lyte & her new group Almost September, out here: