Recently on the Steve Harvey Show, Harvey honored the amazing MC Lyte as a Female Ground-breaker for her accomplishments as the first female solo rapper in history. Since 1988, Lyte has been making history as the first woman to put out a full length rap album, her famous work entitled “Lyte As A Rock.” Lyte was also the first woman to be nominated for a Grammy as a rap artist. Now, she’s putting out her first album in 12 years called “Legend.” During the show, Lyte reminisced on her humble beginnings and the challenges she faced as a pioneer in the rap game. In Lyte’s own mind, she was just a regular girl but as an adult, she has a different perspective on her track in the music industry. “I just was speaking for my neighborhood and talking about things that were real for me. I didn’t realize it until much later, until I became an adult, how difficult what I had done was.”
Lyte went on to talk about how her mother had studied to be a school teacher and had instilled a passion for education and writing in her from a young age.”I was her number one student so at all costs, I was her pupil and I had to write essays for everything I wanted to do including: going to the hip hop club, going to the studio…I became a great essay writer.”
The episode got even better when Lyte announced that she was awarding Cortney Rhodes, a 19-year-old graduate of Harvey’s mentoring camp, $50,000 in scholarship money to attend Dillard University. Lyte gave Rhodes the scholarship money on behalf of her Hip Hop Sisters Foundation and its “#EducateOurMen” Initiative. Hip Hop Sisters was started as a non-profit to generate and share uplifting images of women of color and to foster partnerships in the entertainment industry. Lyte is not alone in her work; her foundation includes famous advisory board members like Faith Evans, Salt from Salt and Pepper, Chilli, Russell Simmons and Jada Pinkett Smith. In 2014, Hip Hop Sisters gave away $50,000 in three scholarships at the Soul Train Music Awards. Two years earlier in 2012, Hip Hop Sisters awarded two $100,000 scholarships to two young women to attend the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
“The movement is all about redefining the essence of young girls and women through hip hop through unity, empowerment, inspiration,” Lyte said on the red carpet at the 2012 Soul Train Awards. “I just want to help them define themselves for themselves and not be so easily swayed into believing what it is that they’ve heard through lyric and song.”
Source: Chicago Defender
So many times women make improvements in communities and sometimes their efforts goes without notice. We’re grateful that Mc Lyte and her foundation is getting the deserved recognition. Way to go Mc Lyte!