MC Lyte Savors Hip-Hop Longevity [INTERVIEW]
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before I heard rapping, and I wanted to act as soon as I saw Tootie do it. I was like, ooh, I want to do that, too.

So I just think I’ve stuck in there long enough to prepare myself for the moments that would allow me to do the other things that I wanted to do my entire life. Voiceovers. Radio. Acting. Deejaying. I remember talking to someone not too long ago, and they were like, “when did your love for deejaying come into effect?” And I was like, “wow, at 11. I was downstairs in the basement with my neighbor who had this huge DJ set, and he would just let me play his records. He wouldn’t even be there.”

He trusted me enough to go down, play the records. And it would be reggae records. All of the things that I do are just the things that I love. And I never make it about fame, I always make it about the outcome.

EBONY: What female MCs are really doing it for you right now?

ML: I do like Azealia Banks. Stylistically, it’s different from what we’ve heard. It’s got pieces of Missy (Elliott) in it. She got people on the dance floor with her songs, and Azealia Banks was able to do the same thing. I appreciate her stylistically because she’s bringing something else to it.

I enjoy Nicki Minaj when she’s doing her uplifting music. “Fly” and “Right Thru Me,” those are the songs that I think that myself, as well as the fans, when we hear them, we get goosebumps. Because she’s really talking about stuff, the troubles in our own lives.

I find the way to enjoy hip-hop, regardless of what’s happening on mainstream, because I search for my hip-hop. I’m accustomed to that. I come from the generation where it wasn’t so easily given to me, or easily found. I had to search around for things to find what really made my head bop.

EBONY: Does it surprise you that hip-hop has made it this far?

ML: Yeah. I mean, it makes sense that it would still be here. But it is that it’s still here, it’s shocking to me that I’m still involved, and it’s not because other people want me to be, or expect me to be, but because I enjoy it.

EBONY: And now you’re doing reality TV too! BET is shooting a series with you, Monie Love, Yo-Yo, The Lady of Rage and Smooth.

ML: Yes! We have the show that I’m VPing with Lynn Richardson and Sunni Gyrl, a show called Hip-Hop Sisters. We’re actually filming this week, so I’m excited about that.