Today in our edition of WCS HipHop50, we are joined by the legendary MC Lyte! This is a special one for me since “Cha, Cha, Cha” is one of my favorite rap songs. Once again, our own Todd “DG” Davis does the honors for the interview as only he can. Read below for this special feature!
First things first, this year (August 11th) marked the 50th Anniversary of Hip Hop — What exactly does that mean to and for you?
It’s awesome! It means that we’ve come a very far way since 1973. It means we’ve put a lot of work in, and now we are seeing hard work pays off. We’ve got 5 decades of music, art, performers, dancers, community and more.
To quote the late, great The Notorious B.I.G., “You never thought that Hip Hop would take it this far!” — Was this something that you ever could’ve imagined?
Never. I didn’t give it much thought. When you are doing what you love, time just flies.
What are some of your fondest, most stand-out moments/memories from your lengthy tenure in this thing called Hip Hop?
There are so many! Tour time. Performing on Arsenio Hall. Creating in the studio. Hitting the club scene. Being on the road with Janet Jackson. Hanging out with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Visiting Teddy Riley at Future Recording Studios in VA.
That said, what are your future plans and / or goals throughout the remainder of 2023, going right into ‘24?
Enjoying family is one of them for sure. New music. A few great productions. Most recently, my business partner, Lynn Richardson, and I joined the reboot of THE WIZ as co-producers. It’s a really exciting time for the arts, and we’re here for it.
Switching gears here, what exactly do you want people to get from your music?
Energy. Truth. Life.
On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?
I think there’s something for everyone, if you’re willing to search. As a deejay, I find there’s a lot to be excited about with Hip Hop today. What would be nice, is for everyone involved to own their part. Be responsible for your part. Radio, producers, artists, record labels. Require more from what’s being given.
What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?
God! A great team. Leadership I’m willing to follow.
Do you have any other outside / additional (future) aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?
Giving is what brings me joy. Our organization, Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, is our pride and joy. We’ve given over 1 million dollars away in scholarship money to young men and women furthering their education.
What’s an average day like for you?
Morning meetings. Work out. Eat something healthy, if I can. Pretty easy. Note: if it’s a travel day, that’s another situation.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?
Being able to meet new people, and hopefully inspire them to live their best life. Go after what it is that they really want.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Only start if you’re willing to make sacrifices. Your time is not your own, and you have to be okay with that. Ask a lot of questions, and get yourself educated about the business. Never burn a bridge.
Looking ahead, say five or maybe even ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
Heavily into production, and releasing the kinds of projects I can be proud of.
Any “parting” words for our readers?
Don’t forget to love you. And VOTE!!