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Legendary rapper no Lyteweight

By: Jerry Anderson III

Date Posted: 1999-04-24

Question, what do you get when you combine hard-core beats laced with smart lyrics along with street credibility spoken from a woman's point of view? Answer: MC Lyte.

Entering the male dominated Rap field in 1988, when being an MC required lyrical skills and had nothing to do with the size of your gun, MC Lyte was definitely a force to reckon with. Signed to her father's (Nat Robinson) record label, First Priority Music, Lyte released her debut album, Lyte As A Rock. The album produced four smash-hits, 10% Dis, Paper Thin, the classic I Cram to Understand You and the title song, Lyte As A Rock.

Lyte's sophomore album, Eyes on This, found the artist still giving the fans what they expected. Delivering her usual calm-before-the-storm style with a little bit of praying mantis to keep challengers at bay, Lyte released the hit single Cha Cha Cha. Then just when you thought you had Lyte figured, she flipped the script on us with her third album, Act Like You Know released in 1991. Act like You Know had more of a commercial pop feel instead of the stripped down diggin' in the crates basement production style we had grown accustomed to. Releasing the catchy singles When In Love and the rap remake of Torii's Georgie Porgy, Lyte was breaking new ground and setting the trend for future artists - think Puff Daddy.

Returning to her hard-core roots in 1993, Lyte dropped what's probably my favorite MC Lyte CD, Ain't No Other. Setting it off with the b-boy summer anthem and gold single Ruffneck, rap purists were once again satisfied. The equally well received single I Go On followed. Just to prove a point, Lyte added an update to her classic I Cram to Understand You and launched an all out crusade on arch rival Rap singer Roxann Shante, with the lyrical Steady F. Those were the good old days, when disagreements and dislikes were handled on record and the only thing that got bruised was your ego.

After a three-year absence from the music scene (reportedly to pursue a career in acting) and severing contract ties with her father's record label, MC Lyte re-emerged on the scene in 1996.

The legendary Rap singer, whose career spans more than a decade, will perform at the Banyan Tree Club May 15

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