“When people ask me if I’m the best female MC of all time it’s always a funny question,” muses MC Lyte in her trademark smoky voice. The cocky New York rhyme legend doesn’t minces words when it comes to her overall place in hip-hop. “As an MC, regardless of what anyone else thinks, I must big myself up. I am full of self-esteem, so the answer is…yeah [laughs].”
For Lana Michele Moorer, such talk is no mere hyperbole. When the then 16-year-old Lyte released her debut single “I Cram To Understand U (Sam)” in 1987, no one had even heard the likes of the brazen, witty, and lyrically soaring rhyme chick before. Over the next 15 years, Lyte would go on to create the blueprint for any aspiring female spitter who wanted to be judged solely for their skills as an MC. She was a misogynists worst nightmare: a heralded voice who often times garnered the type of jaw-dropping respect usually reserved for such acclaimed male peers as Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G. Rap.
It’s no wonder that the two-time Grammy nominated act and recipient of the 2006 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors Awards doesn’t lack confidence. From Lauryn Hill to Nicki Minaj, MC Lyte’s impact is immeasurable. This is her legacy. Brooklyn, stand up!–Keith Murphy