BET Will Honor MC Lyte With ‘I Am Hip Hop’ Award

MC Lyte will receive the 2013 Lifetime achievement award presented by Sprite at this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards.

The hip-hop pioneer has helped emcee the event in previous years but has never taken home an award herself. The network revealed the selection earlier this week, solidifying Lyte as the eighth recipient of the annual honor. Her iconic career began nearly 25 years ago, with the release of her debut album Lyte As A Rock. She helped paved the way for future female rappers by becoming the first to release a solo LP and the first rapper to receive a certified gold single for her hard hitting anthem, “Ruffneck.” Lyte was also the first female solo rapper nominated for a Grammy and the first African-American female president of the L.A. chapter of the Recording Academy.

The ‘I Am Hip-Hop’ Award also acknowledges artist’s for their philanthropic endeavors. Lyte is the founder of the Hip-Hop Sisters Network, a non-profit foundation which grants an eligible four-year college student each year with a full scholarship. The organization boasts advisory board members such as Russell Simmons, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cheryl “Salt James,” and Faith Evans. Its aim is to promote positive images of women of ethnic diversity by bringing leaders together from the world of Hip-Hop, the entertainment industry, and the corporate world.

Lyte is also set to executive produce an upcoming BET reality show, entitled “Hip-Hop Sisters.” The cast will include Lyte, Lady of Rage, Yo Yo, Smooth, Monie Love and Lil Mama. She recently shared with the network her thoughts on how to enhance the genre. “I say as hip-hop lovers we reclaim it and we start to support that hip-hop that really satiates us… we really call radio stations and say we want to hear more of our local artists…. We just need to get out there and represent for the music that we love.”

The 2013 BET Awards will be filmed at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on Sept. 28 and will air on Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. ET.