BLOG: Now & Then

It’s so amusing to me when I read some of the comments here and on other platforms where the fan is given the respectable right to participate and then abuse it.

I read a comment, “Isn’t Lyte like 45? She should stop”. LMAO…No really LOL…First off, I’m more than 7 years younger than that and stop for what? It’s what I love to do and most artists who debuted around the same time love it just as much, because that’s the only reason you did it back then. There was no money to be made like today. We had a love for hip-hop that superseded any type of dollars that could be made.

I’m sure we all had the same love for hip-hop that Aerosmith had for rock. The same love Bruce Springsteen had when he created “Born In The USA,” which is why after all these years he can grace the cover of Rolling Stone and no hater bitches say a peep. Bruce made people feel him when he sang that song and all of the other hits in his catalogue, which is why he can tour and a gathering of 50,000 show to sing and support.

So if we as hip-hop artists all share the same love as a rocker does for his music; why do we not get the same amount of respect? Is it because hip-hop is still not looked upon as a true art form? Are we not counted as true artists? Is it because we are not musicians in the same way as a violinist or guitarist? Although we make music, no doubt, still maybe creating lyrics and having them flow over beats isn’t enough? Maybe moving millions of people across several continents and many countries is too small of a thing? Perhaps, leading generations into a style of dress or hairstyle is merely something to be forgotten?

Somehow other genres know how important hip-hop is. They’ve seen how the art form can swarm over the Billboard charts and swoop in and land on every spot where they used to cop a squat. It’s the reason Aerosmith rocked with Run DMC. It’s why Sinead O’Connor called for Lyte and Linkin Park mashed with Jay.

So if others give hip-hop its respect, others meaning those who exist outside the walls of this culture, why don’t we give it to ourselves?

My opinion is this, for starters there’s no one in the rock game coming up with terms like old school, new school and golden era. All these terms do is find an opportunity for hip-hop artists to be separated from one another and categorized. With radio, rock is rock. They play new releases intertwined with older releases. With hip-hop it’s all new and a 12 o’clock “old school mix”. That’s funny, LMAO!!!

The Planned Generation Separation
Not all, but many major labels like to keep their roster of artists young because they believe that’s all the young consumer wants. To take it deep—they believe the older consumer is too frugal (stingy) and has other financial responsibilities that don’t allow them to buy hip-hop music as freely as they once did as kids, so ultimately it makes no sense to market to them because they won’t buy. Deeper—they believe young consumers are fanatics (definition= a person with an obsessive enthusiasm for a past time or hobby). BTW—Fanatic spawned the word “fan.” Major labels (some LOL) bank on young people being impulsive buyers and think they will make a purchase just to be down with the Jones’s.

The bottom line is this. If you love hip-hop, know it: the ins, the outs and the greats! If you are a part of hip-hop culture the history is at your fingertips. Don’t let someone else decide for you whether you should know your culture’s history. All contributors that exist in this art form are important enough to be known. And that’s real talk…with love.

—MC Lyte

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Pierzy

    This is a great question…is it because hip-hop is more like boxing and a sport where you try to knock off the best? I don’t think The Killers are gunning for The Rolling Stones the way Wayne was going at Jay.

    It’s unfortunate that classic emcees aren’t given the respect they deserve…someone like LL is a great example.

    • General

      I think you got a great point P. I think it is because of the competitive nature of bein that MC and wanting to the best…

      Plus we are always tryin to argue over who is the best or greatest of all time, or top 5 dead or alive…

      This whole way of thinking produces great music, but it also leads to artists thinkin the only way they can get considered for these spots is to knock off those that the fans and media hail as the “king” or greatest…

      What other genre of music is so opposseed with rankings the way hip hop is?

      • Enlightened

        Good points…also add to that, what genre of music has a media that fosters that type of thinking…

        let’s remember it’s our favorite magazines that created that “greatest of all time” rankings mentality.

        As I’ve heard other people say, you never heard Pac or Biggie utter the words “Greatest of All Time” or “Top 5″

        • General

          Another point is that from what I have seen, most hip hop/rap consumers seem to transition into more of r and b consumers as they get older, because a lot of people like to call that “grown man” music…

        • Enlightened

          Yep, but that speaks to the point I was saying down below.

          You are absolutely right, most of the time, but now R&B is so different. Now the R&B artists want to be TOO hip-hop.

          They are singing over beats! I’m like what the fuck? You don’t sing to a beat. You sing to music, melodies.

          Now people think they can get a Swizz Beats/Just Blaze style track and just sing all over it (like Beyonce does) and think that shit is cool. So R&B is not really “grown man” music no more – at least not the R&B that’s on the radio.

        • valdez

          very enLYTEning. real talk tho, i love mc lyte. greatest female mc of all time, imo. she was better than or at least on par with many of the best male MCs.

          she always speath truth and in a very articulate manner, might i add. never have i once heard her disrespect herself (well, except when she released “ruff neck.”) j/k.

          much respect to lyte.

          now as far as what she said, i will just say that i agree with what she described as “The Planned Generation Separation.” and pretty much every thing else she said, for that matter. good stuff, lyte.

  • Ron Mexico

    amen, lyte. a-fuckin-mens.


    I think Pierzy has a good point. Hip Hop has always been a competitive art form. There are many factors that contribute to the problem MC Lyte brought up.

    Another major one is the fact that despite all of its accomplishments & major influence on music and life in general in America & other countries, Hip Hop still does not have the respect it should. The respect given to many of it’s counterparts; I talk about this in my spoken word a lot.

    The change and respect has to begin on the inside of the culture. There’s too many people in Hip Hop & rap and representing Hip Hop (to the outsiders) right now that don’t understand the significance of the culture. I’ve heard TOO many rappers & producers say they’re in it for the money. With this type of attitude we’ll never get the full amount of respect we deserve.

    I could go on & on about this topic LOL so let me stop now. I read some good points all around.

    Peace & Bliss

  • Enlightened

    I agree fully with the planned generation separation.

    I also go further with it and say the same thing goes for outside of hip-hop.

    People like to say “conspiracy theory” when you say anything that doesn’t register in their brain as plausible but…

    I believe there is a concerted effort to strip Black people of as many adult-acting. mature role models as possible.

    When I started listening to hip-hop, I was young, and Lyte you were young too. We used to want to act older and emulate the older people. We didn’t think of you as a teenager who was only a handful of years older than us.
    Big Daddy Kane presented himself as way older than he actually was. Ditto for Rakim. They acted like “grown ass men”.

    Now the grown men want to act like the 17&18 year olds. Just look around in Black entertainment as a whole. What happened to all the KRSs, Chuck Ds and dare I say Too Shorts?

    I’m not even talking about positive vs. negative here because even somebody like Too Short who spent a lot of time rapping about “hoes” (along with more conscious material that doesn’t get mentioned), he still presented himself as a GROWN MAN pimp – there was maturity.

    Now with all the mature, grown-acting Black role models being relegated to “oldies” tours, never to be found on TV, you can see the reflection in the youth who no longer wanted to act like their older uncles and role models, but merely like to point fingers and say, “old ass nigga.”

    • Victoria Page

      I totally agree with this. It seems like now it is lame to be grown in this business. You can still be in your thirties and rap…I think it just gets ridiculous when you have a 30 year old man using the same tactics that Souljah Boy, etc uses…

      Loved the Big Daddy Kane and Rakim references…

    • X

      “I believe there is a concerted effort to strip Black people of as many adult-acting. mature role models as possible.”

      If such an effort exists, it exists as a mix between the fans’ desires and choices with the artists’ desires and choices, no one else should be blamed for that. I share your frustration with the lack of intelligence and a seeming distaste for maturity/bettering oneself in some parts of hip hop, but what we want to see will come back eventually. When the art form’s hit such a critical mass, something’s bound to happen, but we need to make sure it does.

  • Ron Mexico

    “My opinion is this, for starters there’s no one in the rock game coming up with terms like old school, new school and golden era. All these terms do is find an opportunity for hip-hop artists to be separated from one another and categorized. With radio, rock is rock. They play new releases intertwined with older releases. With hip-hop it’s all new and a 12 o’clock “old school mix”. That’s funny, LMAO!!!

    The Planned Generation Separation
    Not all, but many major labels like to keep their roster of artists young because they believe that’s all the young consumer wants.”

    i love this. we never talk about why the second and 2.5 generation of hip-hop has zero respect for shit that came out even a couple years before, let alone ten or twenty.

    it has a lot to do with the way hip-hop is viewed as “a brand engine and a commodity” by labels, consumers and prospective content developers alike.

    niggas look at making hip-hop music as a career opportunity first and an artform second, if at all. today, everyone in hip-hop is lining up for a register gig at the rap mcdonald’s where they can sell shitty burgers with short shelf life rather than spending time and effort on timeless quality product.

    • Enlightened

      I like your points a lot better when you’re just writing and laying your thoughts out compared to the whole faux slave/ign’ant nigga language you use.
      I know you’re trying to get a point across (and ridicule your subject) when you do that, but I’m just saying

      • Monstarr.

        Look. I’m also sick and tired of this shit. People mess up when they type or speak all the time. That doesn’t fucking matter as long as they are known to be intelligible. Everyone on this site let’s their arguments come down to “learn how to spell”. How about seeing if the person has a point or not. The rest of these comments show that she has connected and everyone thinks the blog is relevant to hip hop. Why do you come with the bullshit ??. Chill on it really though.


        • chillin mayne

          good point monstarr…but im pretty sure enlightened was addressin ron mexico not mc lyte

    • render

      ahhh…that brand engine/commodity nadahoe bullshit still kills me

  • G2

    It seems I was just having this conversation the other day. My brother called me and told me we have to go to the return of the legends concert featuring Bone Thugs and DMX!! I think Bone has been out maybe about fifteen years and X even shorter, but already their returning legends? I’m looking forward to the show, as I’m sure a lot of “old heads” are. But does this mean any new material released by these artists isn’t relevant? Personally, I would buy a new Rakim album just as quick, if not quicker than a Drake album (if I’d buy it at all).

  • capcobra

    krs said it best when he said “love’s gonna getcha”..the older artist show love to the younger artist which is good..but once that happens you are officially the older artist..once jay started co-signing was a wrap on jay..he’s the old head now..if he would’ve continued to treat weezy as an oppenent then maybe some of these 20yr olds would still love jay..LL on the other hand did canibus dirty to keep that seperation and status intact…so i think the love that veterans show the youth is what push them out the door..if lyte would’ve said lil kim on some ghostwriter/prostitute/model bullshit then that might’ve changed how we look at kim and lyte as well..but the cordial easy and righteous thing to do is show love..but love can be a double edge sword.

    • Curtis75Black


      Are you saying the Co-sign is a flatline in Hip Hop ? To some degree I agree especially when it comes to Big Daddy Kane and his posse track “Show & Prove” – on that track he did sound old and dated compared to the younger, hungier emcees. As far as the LL/Canibus fiasco, I believe he did co-sign him by the battle engagement !! He acknowledged the younger upstart and put him to the test with bars as well as staying power in the game. If he had ignored Canibus, it would’ve been a wrap according to the new generation of fans thinking he was scared or soft.

      I see it like this, Someone like Uncle L could’ve been gone by the time Nas dropped Illmatic but he was and still able to sound fresh, competative at times as well as himself, not trying to sound like the younger ones, which keeps him in his own realm. Fans might not want to respect the fact that he’s still dropping music but his 26 years is Hip Hop’s longevity !!

  • Black

    I think it’s cuz Hip-Hop is so competitive. Everybody feels like their competing for the same buck and that causes the younger generation to attack the older one. it’s definitely changing though because the artform is still relatively young.

  • render

    yall got it on the money

    Hiphop is more competition than art half the time. From rappers trying to call themselves the “king of (w/e region)” or “greatest alive” to fans coming up with meaningless GOAT lists

    Now I’m not too familiar with Rock culture but I doubt they debate and politic over who’s the greatest singer or guitarist ever half as much as hiphop fans do about the greatest mc…i mean, sure they’ll probably argue Hendrix vs Clapton or w/e but at the end of the day they’ll still respect and listen to both artists

    you get a hiphop fan arguing about Jay vs Rakim (or godforbid wayne) and it turns into dickriding one while hating all over the other

    the only thing that haterproofs artists in hiphop is death (and judging from the pac hate around places like this, even that aint enough)

  • Mickey Miracle

    The problem is that the younger kids comming up don’t want to learn about hiphop before their time most kids say they don’t want to hear that its too old so they come up thinking some of these song are new A nother reason is we as a culture don’t control the music thats why you hear older music at 12 and on pirate radio…most of the kids are in it for the money and not the love. when you love the culture you love everything about it you want to learn what you don’t know and not disrespect it………

    • gerte

      youre right kids dont give a fuck

  • Justice4All

    I subscribe to the ideology of “Music is Music”-new or old, we should just enjoy the good music (from any year), and brand it as our own. Our hip hop culture was made from random freestyles in the park, battles in the D.J. clubs and it birthed a machine. We as consumers and publications such a this one, is ruining hip hop by putting a label on it by saying it’s “Old School” or “New School” when in actuality, it’s just music. I should be able to hear M.C. Shan, BDP and Lil Wayne in the same radio broadcast during the day. Why are we subjected to the same 8 songs all day long!? That’s why radio now is a past time, the radio stations now are clamouring to get the best comedian on as a radio host instead of letting the music speak for itself. It’s because of that that I never listen to “Slave” radio, I’d rather put in my Run DMC C.D., or my King T Joint, and ride out. Hip Hop is the 70′s-to the present! We should not tolerate anything less.

  • El Tico Loco

    Everything you said in your post is what every 30+ hip hop fan feels but I think is our karma, it started with “Sucker MC’s” but it got worse when we coined the term “old school” in fact KRSone dropped a line that’s coming back to bite him in the ass and ya’ll can finish it *holds the mic to the audience* “you know what u need to learn?/Old school rappers don’t always burn ……”

  • Silly Willy

    When a music style is deemed rebel music or remotely related to it, most of the time, the youngsters carry it on their shoulders. It’s true with hiphop as it was with rock, punk, reggae or jazz in the beginning.

    Hiphop is not the only competitive artform. Competition is well-documented in rock. The Who was considered the loudest band in the world. In the Monterrey festival, Pete Townshend (the lead guitarist) didn’t want to play after Jimi Hendrix because the guy was so flamboyant, they didn’t want to be in his shadow. So they force the promoter to put them before Jimi. Jimi was upset, and the end of his set he set his guitar on fire. And that was the most memorable image of that festival.

    My point is competition is not the problem. The problem is respect, which has more to do with the education of this generation and the sense of responsability of the young adults than with hiphop only.

    Each one teach one. Now parents, big brothers, or OG (call’em what you want), rely on the outside world to teach the kids and keep their love and respect for the older emcees for them.

    And when the entertainment complex who thinks that hip hop is a brand engine and commodity, who thinks that fans gettin older with their fav emcee don’t buy shit no more because they’re choosey (stingy), and who don’t give a shit about the artform and the music in general is really the only ones schoolin the youth, what do you think they’ll learn ???

  • Bobo D

    1)I dislike it when people bring age on as way to judge whats good in hip-hop. As a late 80′s baby I actually go out of my way to find albums which where made before I got into listening to hip-hop. (Baught The D.O.C. – No one can do it better some months ago and I’m still bumping to it).

    2)”Not all, but many major labels like to keep their roster of artists young because they believe that’s all the young consumer wants…Deeper—they believe young consumers are fanatics”
    This is true to some extent, because when I first started listining to rap I would spend my money which I saved up on any “hot” song that was on tv. As youth I was naive, I never really knew what to look for until I bought The Chronic (the album not the substance).
    So basically the youth is a target to spend money on things which don’t really matter, like the was with the whole Power Ranger phase, so will the Hannah Montana stage fade away one day

    3)@General, I think the reason that many of us make transition to R&B is because we want to get laid. Shit I never really understood what Marvin Gaye was all about tell I started getting laid, now my playlist is full of Maxwell, Barry White, Luther Vandross…Guaranted baby making music.

  • P. Harris

    Great Blog Lyte… and whoever said something about your age is a lame…

    I believe the reason why classic rock is respected more the classic hip hop is because the younger crowd who listen to classic rock enjoy classic rock. Hell, I enjoy classic rock and in my mind you can’t say nothing bad about the beatles… You can easily go up to a young rock fan and probably hold a conversation about the Jimi or John Lennon. But I can’t even go to my little cousin and talk to her about one of your songs or albums or mention nice and smooth to my other young cousins. It’s the mind frame of the youth in the hip hop / rap culture. You can see it happening in other places too. In many different youth driven environments the older people with more experience aren’t respected.

    It’s going to be interesting to see where the new generation will take hip hop. Like you said Lyte… people are out to make a hit record now… let’s get rich off this music… which I can’t fault no one wanting to gain wealth but it just kills me every time I here a new “do this dance song” or “I make money” song… It seems like there is a movement going on with artist like Kid Cudi, Charles Hamiton, Mickey Factz, etc. It’s going to be interesting to hear…



  • Bennie

    It’s the nature of the music. Lyte when you were young, you even rapped about being the best so you’ve also added fuel to the fire. Hip hop has always started as a who’s the best type of thing, because it’s not just music, it’s a way of life. It’s a state of being because it’s so personal. In other forms of music it’s cool for other artists to sing music written by other people, but in hip hop you’ll be called out on it. Hip Hop is Ali vs Foreman, there has to be a best to be known as the greastet of all time.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine


    A lot of us transfer back to R & B because it reminds us of QUALITY MUSIC. Where they actually performed actual music instruments, put soul and meaning into the lyrics.

    We miss the timeless music.

    A lot of these young cats are lazy, they just want the “old heads” to fall back, because they think the left over fans($) will go to them. Instead of making that QUALITY MUSIC in the first place. Because that’s all you see now, “Let the young kids in!”

    I say let them. They can have this dying format of rap while we go forward with a rap contemporary format that will thrive. We have plenty of music for it anyway.

    BTW, I nominate Lyte for Def Jam South President!

    • Pierzy

      Co-Sign all of this. As usual…

  • Moving Sideways

    This is a great topic for discussion Lyte, thanks for bringing it up. I somewhat agree with everyone, but I think you all missed something, here are my two cents.

    I’m 25, and I came up with the Illmatic/Enter the Wu-Tang/Chronic era. For me personally, that is Hip-Hop, period. As much as I respect and know about the Hip-Hop scene in the 80s — I can hear the difference in MC’s and producers that came before that. Run DMC, BDP, Public Enemy, I kinda dig all of them, but if I have to listen to something, it would be Ready To Die over Fear of a Black Planet everyday of the week. Unfortunately, all their styles sound dated to me like Das EFX’s sliggity-slang.

    Good stuff that has that same soul/sound is still being made today, that’s the stuff I gravitate to…I don’t care if it’s Black Milk’s album or BlaQKout, the Quik and Kurupt album if it has that sound I’m down for it. Older artists need to just produce that quality shit again, like Ghostface did with his last few albums.

  • Avenger XL

    I also think the biggest point made in this great post by lyte is the fact that Hip-hop is not treated like an art. You can say you have a rock group with pride and play for a million years. But due to the limited box media and the general public allowed hip-hop to be placed in. They have created the ultimate microwave music. The ease of entry is another problem. With bands it took some real effort to maintan a band and thus the mystique is different. In rap these days all you need is some jack- a-lope to make a hot beat plus a guy who thinks he has hot verses to rhyme over them. If cats build a more soulful lane in spite of all that maybe things will change.

  • paul cantor

    I disagree. In rock, as in other genres, there is plenty of division, just like in hip-hop. But just to hone in on what you briefly wrote about rock not being separated, there is a whole entire subsection in rock called… surprise… classic rock! That’s the same as “old school” hip-hop.

    It’s not that in hip-hop people don’t like the old stuff, it’s that there hasn’t been a large outlet created where it can be embraced. One reason for that could be because the genre is not old enough yet. It’s like in the 70s, there was no such thing as a classic rock station, because rock wasn’t around long enough to have the “classic” (i.e. old) songs to fill out the programming block.

    That said, in New York City right now some of the biggest shows are coming from nostalgia acts. Tonight alone, De La Soul is playing, and so is Rakim, elsewhere. Last weekend, Big Daddy Kane performed in Brooklyn. These shows have been big draws for the past 5-6 years in New York, because that’s where the older hip-hop fan is going to spend their money. They may not buy your new music, or they might. Same with Bruce Springstein. He’s not guaranteed any sales when he drops a record, and people go to his shows to see him perform the hits.

    Also, comparing hip-hop to rock is like apples and oranges. Especially if you’re using Bruce Springstein as an example. Arguably, Jay-Z is like our version of Springstein. And this guy is performing now damn near 50 dates a year, between his tours, one off shows and so on. But how many Bruce Springstein’s are there? Not many. It’s just the top 5% that can play arenas, and even that’s tough. The same thing exists in Rock. What, you think every artist is playing an arena? Definitely not.

    Furthermore, narrowing it down and saying older hip-hop’s relegated to an old school mix for an hour would be to assume that the hot97s of the world are the only place where people can hear music. On MusicChoice, which everyone who has digital cable has, there is a dedicated station to oldschool hip-hop. Additionally, stations like these exist on satellite radio and internet radio as well. Also, there are a bazillion and one people who are posting up content from older hip-hop artists on their blogs, like, all day. The hot97′s of the world may very well be shooting themselves in the foot by not expanding that old school hour, but that’s part of a larger issue that has to do with terrestrial radio’s failure to be forward thinking and cutting edge. Rest assured, their decline in listnership over the past 5-6 years reflects that.

    Finally, you have shows like the hip-hop honors on Vh1, hip-hop theater and film festivals and other cultural events going on around the world that are eager to embrace older hip-hop artists.

    just my 2 cents

    • Silly Willy

      Co-sign !

      I don’t know if you read all the comments, Lyte – and I won’t be mad if you don’t, I just can’t – but on your very first post I asked you what do you think of an eventual contemporary outlet to let everyone enjoy music from that era, and how successful do you think it would be (both musically and commercially). I was hoping to find an answer about it on this drop, since it’s the topic and all……

      • $ykotic/Don McCaine

        SW what it do!

        You may have not seen this, but for the last 8 months on XXL I have dropped repeatedly the blueprint for a Rap Contemporary format.

        This format of today is totally alienating the ones who started the trend, the parents of these now kids, you know, the ones who actually bought CD’s, albums, cassettes.

        And yes, this is where the downfall of sales has come from. THEY ARE THE MISSING CONSUMERS who will not buy this new music.

        I think this format will thrive greatly. Because of the unseen longevity of the rap genre, and the regression the last 4 years, it is needed now more than ever.

        An hour or one day on radio will do nothing. A station totally committed to this, with promoters and artists, will be successful.

        Tours, re-releases, even new product can be displayed. The money would return, but in a different aspect. Doesn’t anyone else see Jigga molding his Frank Sinatra style?

        Then when the younger cats see they’re beating a dead horse, they can step it up major and start creating that good stuff to open for the Rap Contemporary artists. There would be minimal beef & an appreciation for the music, and not the persona.



        The labels would co-sign because it replenishes the publishing. Dudes struggling out there would actually start seeing some royalty checks in the mail. So what you’re “old”. Some people out there would actually have the time of their life seeing you again. Maybe even the first time.

        If I had the investors, I would do it. Whoever out there does, at least holler @ me and give me my dap. The youngin’s can have their world. Just remember mommy & daddy did this before you so don’t be mad when mommy & daddy go to more shows and have more love for the game than you do.


        • Silly Willy

          What’s good, $yk?

          We’re basically on the same campaign here, Don Mac.

          Not only they’re missing consumers, but isolating the older generation of artists (and Lyte is not old, whoever said that is a monkey…)doesn’t help them make the genre durable. Because, well if you start rappin, what would you do by the time you’re 35? And they’re missing all the collateral business ventures coming with such an important market. Shit, the other night I even caught some Timelife Music commercial about New Jack Swing where you had to pay with the Visa or some shit. Think about that…

          The most crowded show I ever saw was last year, and it was…….wait for it……Paul McCartney!!! Don’t tell me Rakim can’t move units. Just need a lane, an outlet and it’s good money. That is, of course, if those artists are still with it, what with the retirement threats and all….

        • $ykotic/Don McCaine

          Ha! I saw that commercial!

          Why didn’t they used DRAKE?

          The thickest live show I saw this year was GEORGE CLINTON. Second was Dave Chappelle’s impromptu Portland show.

          I was @ the round table with all my industry dudes(web conference) and we asked, “Where’s Ross”? The second highest rap album of the year and no one could drop if they saw him live this year. The summer is a rapper’s best time to get $. Radio summer jams don’t count because 98% of the time it’s promo(= free show).

          My dudes are asking for an instrumental version of the album though!!!

          I asked, “Where’s ROCKO”. “I’ma do me…”
          Thought he was the future…


          Back to the subject, the alienation is a blatant disrespect. And these new cats are paying for it. I feel sorry for those who are up and coming. Because they won’t even get a good looking at. And unless you’re a Drake clone or successor, you’re done before you started. Hood rap in the mainstream is done.

          And yes I agree with older cats looking foolish trying to be young-ish. Step it up.

          Y’all non-believer’s start bearing witness to the Don’s words as we “shake our heads” from all the acts that WILL get dropped from the labels in the coming months.

          No sales=No contract.

          I’m happy a lot of people are coming out this year. THE RAP DROUGHT(DECESSION) IS COMING.
          Watch how dudes start “loving” the internet and the commenter’s.


          And even my mom listens to Rakim.

  • UNITURNZ2000

    I agree with you 100% Lyte. I believe the term “old school” should be eliminated. It prevents people from listening to great music because it is considered out of style. When I hear DJ’s on the radio play an older track they always attach a “takin it back” or a “ol skool hit of the day!”. So the listener is already feelin the song less bcuz its old and not fresh. This takes away from the experience! Especially if its a person that never heard this track b4. There’s plenty of great tracks, old and new, that u can throw in a mix and listeners wouldn’t know the difference. FROM ONE DJ TO ANOTHER….PLEASE STOP USING THIS TERM! ITS RUINING HIP HOP!!

  • ZO

    The reason is because everyone who listens to Hip Hop is a HATER in one shape or another. Hip Hop is based on hate. Especially all this new shit. “Im better than you because I have money”. That shit aint enlightining. That shit’s not lift you up music! Hip Hop is full of haters. People who say they aint. STOP LIEING! You bout to hate on my comment right now. Point Proven……

    • Silly Willy

      I don’t agree.

      Of course with all the braggadoccio, it’s easy enough to say hiphop is a pissing contest. But the will to outrhyme, to outperform the opponent gave it the fuel still driving it today. There are haters, everywhere. Hater niggas marry hater bitches and have hater kids, word to Ye. But it’s not a hiphop specialty. We tend to think so because of all this braggadoccio aspect of the culture that makes us somehow, albeit unconsciously, self-centered.

      See what I did there? Nuance,…not hating. You’re entitled to your opinion but if I disagree, I’ll explain mine.

      “If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hatin”

  • UNITURNZ2000




  • 3rd eye clear

    I recently had this conversation, and all I could come up with was the scenario in the hood. You know the one, where the building has been vacant for 60+ years and has been quite an eye sore for some time. That is until someone from outside the hood realize its value and transforms that building into $400,000/600 sqft condos!
    Hip Hop is that building..and although i’m so sure we realize exatly what it’s worth we somehow refuse to do what we know is the right thing to do. Like so many dudes I know with paper passed that building in my hood. I just read in the paper where one developer stated this neighborhood is adjacent to the largest fresh water lake in the world, it’s a damn gold mine! I was in Uganda a couple of months ago and they have the second largest fresh water lake and there were people from all over the world there!!

  • DJ Ghost

    …and there it is… been saying this forever, thank you Lyte! Zo – I part way agree – back in the day though we did still brag about money and things like that (I got a Lincoln Continental and a sunroof Cadillac – Sugarhill / you a five dollar boy and I’m a million dollar man – Run DMC) we were saying the same things back then BUT we were not all saying it the SAME WAY in EVERY SONG! If I hear the phrase “up in the club” one more time – I’m really going to lose it…

    I have a blog written about these young kids worrying too much about the money on

    And Lyte: BANGIN’ NEW SONG! Much love…

  • Opal Ellyse

    PREACH Lyte!!! ha first kudos for penning my new favorite term “hater bitches” lol. . .but u hit the nail right on the head with this one. . we are being BAMBOOZLED when we buy into the lie that old school rap or older rappers are not relevent. . .that is some bullshyt. . .just like you pointed out Hip Hop is the only genre following that crap. . .if they could they would get R&B to follow suit but they can’t becuase the R&B “fans” aka buyers will not give up their classics. . .they still buy the albums, and the greatest hits albumns and they still buy tickets to shows. . . Patty Labelle is comming to my city in the summer of 2010. .. it’s darn near already sold out. . .but hip hop buyers. . .we seem to recently need to be told what/who is hot and how long they can be hot. . .when did 35 become too old to make hip hop????? I just love artists like you and Jay and others that still make HITS like fuck ‘em, cuz ya’ll know better. . .an artists knows when they make a great track, it’s a feeling you get, age ain’t nothin but a number n aint got shh to do with good music. Besides WTF are we gona learn from an album by an 18 yr old anyway. . .what life experiences can they offer me, I’m in my 20′s and I was doin some dumb ass shh when I was 18 lol. . . We got 62 yr old lablel execs tellin us what’s hot in hip hop n we listening. . .get the f’k outta here with dat shh:)
    Love to ya

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      You know we need your input girl!

      Sausage needs eggs…

  • 3rd eye clear

    I just peeped your mention of the contemporary outlet and almost passed out! I’m 36yo..thats right born 73′…and I swear me and a couple of cats talk about this all the time. It’s not like we can’t relate but honestly I am not playing weezy at not one of my wife’s dinner parties! But you can bet mos def, talib, roots, de La, camp lo all get play!! On their orginal cd’s. That’s right I still buy 1 for the car and 1 for the crib of that good!

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      PEACE 3rd eye!

      I’m ’66 bred and love this culture. We grew up in this so we will die with it.

      So my brethren know this would work. And we’re not being selfish. This would help the game tremendously.

      We would/could/should play some bangers that deserve mention. We would/could feel better about this music.

      Positive K deserves love. D.O.C. Mr Magic & Marley Marl. Awesome 2. Lords of the Underground. Naughty. MC Shan. Even BOSS. Del the Funky. Cypress. Spice 1. MC Eiht. Lench Mob. Bobbito & Stretch. MR. CEE. Ill & Al Scratch. Heavy D. N9NE. Souls of Mischef. RALPH MCDANIELS. Even U-God could get a check hosting. His voice is perfect for radio.

      Flash STILL cutting. WHICH DJ STILL CUTS/MIXES/SCRATCHES? DJ Scratch on the 1 & 2′s. Melly Mel could drop a hot 16 for a commercial. Ching Ching!!!




  • bakerboi

    Wow, that’s so disrespectful on so many levels. See thats the problem in a nutshell, people don’t respect other people shit i.e. opinions, material items, feelings and outlooks. I can admit i’m guilty of it too, I look at these young cats and say their follows not leaders, they look at my 36 yr old ass and call me an OG and I don’t know nothing (That’s shit is funny because if all my OG’s recall back in the early 90′s they labeled the blackmale an endangered species and most of us won’t live to see 25) not thinking about it we are divided on so many levels that’s it’s damn near impossible to bring our hip hop together and that’s what they want and would like to keep so they are keep money and keep us divided becuz we are money makers and are blind to fame, success and momentary wealth.

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      bake look @ my drop above you.

      It’s time to separate it. Unfortunate, but necessary.

  • Tony Grands

    Masta Ace called this “disposable arts”.

    How can we expect generations that follow to have an inkling of respect for pioneers & trailblazers when half the time the difference between hip hop & rap is a debatable topic?

    There’s nothing artistic about “respecting his hustle”. That, to me, says “no matter what he says/does, the fact that he gets money is good enough for me”. Duck Sauce. People say shit like that about dudes like Gucci, Soulja, OJ, then we get upset when these dudes get top-billed.

    Hip hop stopped being an artform years ago. Now, it’s a business move. True artists still exist, but the competition has turned it into a fiscal free-for-all. Cats used to rap because they had to. Now, it’s based on business plans, marketing techniques & financial backing. & if one happens to have talent it’s a bonus for the “fan”.

    Give the wackest rap nigga a big ass chain (no t-pain) & give the illest rapper a backpack & see who really gets the respect.

  • 3rd eye clear

    The FCC license could’nt be that much, right?
    Someone throw out a realistic number on making something like this happen!!!


    i was thinking it is more like rap it’s roots are in battling. that show and prove mindset is in the core of making it as a rapper. showing people you are better than who is considered the best at the time. you uplift the art by creating classic material but it is more like you are uplifting yourself at the same time. someone gets to big they think they run this shit own this game. then others coming for the crown try to pull that person down. what other form of music has diss records being made it is crazy.
    rock on the other hand does not hate in it at the level the rap game has. everyone seems to try to make there own legacy and not tear others down. that way they make there music as a whole stronger. most rockers that have been beefing just fought each other instead of taking that anger to the studio to make a diss track.

  • Omega Osirus

    in my opinion what you saying is the truth. if you love this artform sincerely learn about it from beginning to present.As far as i can see artist trying bring the 90s back aka the golden era and i’m wit that from a 22 year old speaking.

  • DJ WIZ (Kid N’ Play)


  • reality

    It sounds like Lyte is upset because someone said she was old. Truth hurts. Maybe that person doesn’t feel that Lyte’s career equals legend status. How many people can name a Lyte song let alone an album. Stop bitching, blaming labels, for mediocrity.

  • Master CHeef

    actually, rock is categorized by the decade: 60′s, 70′s, 80′s, & 90′s

  • money mitch

    I think it’s deeper than the competitive nature aspect. I think it’s rooted in the word itself HIP hop most people think that the older you get the more out of touch you get with current trends and what the young people consider to be in fact HIP. Which is true only to a very small extent like how nas and ghostface have been saying it’s time for them to grow up and speak on issues in their life when they’re in their late thirties most consumers kids age 10 to i’d say 25 can’t relate to the grown man issues they speak on. Which i find sad because i’m only twenty four trying to get my grown man on and i take what the cats like nas and ghost say to heart so i can apply it to my situation and do right and i can only shake my head in disgust at all these ignorant shorties black, white, and brown that think all this thuggin’ till’ i die shit is what’s really good. I guess i’ve been blessed to be cut from a different cloth being that i’m young and have always been around older cats so i guess i grew up quicker than most my age. I’ve always been the kid cool with the hustlers and cats stickin’ fools up but always knew it wasn’t for me and i never saw them obtain anything i coudn’t get with a hard working 9 to 5 except a safe full of cash but money never impressed me so i learned from their mistakes on the street and applied it to how i live

  • Sleepy Wonder

    Isn’t Jay-Z 39? I Don’t Think Real Hip Hop Fans Give A Shit About Age. Rakim Is Dropping Next Month And I Can’t Fucking Wait. As Long As You Drop Some Good Joints And Keep The Features To A Minimum, It’s All Good With Me.

  • Quan

    . . i havnt read the article yet. .i seen her picture and it required I say how good she look at whatever the duck age she is. . now. .back to the article.

  • Hammer

    Nice blog entry Lyte! As far as hip hop being competitive so is Reggae music going back to the 60′s with the sound system clashes up until this very day but you still see the respect for artists such as Marley, Dennis Brown (RIP), Barrington Levy, Super Cat, Shabba and the list goes on. When they have their big shows during Labor Day weekend you will see all ages booked on one show, something you will never see in Hip Hop. Why? Because too many people associated with the music have no real love for the culture to begin with, only what they can get out of it. Now that the monetary part has slowed down the only thing left to do is take back ownership of the artform and rebuild again. Where is the new ‘Def Jam’ and ‘Tommy Boys’ of 2009?

  • Souldiva

    Perfectly stated Mc Lyte…I love hip hop all that is good in it, and believe it is the most influential form of music since its inception. We need to support it so that it’s respected, heard and given its respect due.

  • DJ Sir Charles Dixon

    I really love MC Lyte she is so awesome and she transcends time with her style. She is classic Hip hop. She is very on point with what she is saying to a point where is goes over a few younger fans heads. i have been listening to hip hop since 1980 and i am not from new york originally. i am from Baltimore same area where the Wire was shot. Baltimore club music in the hood was salsoul, york style garage nightclub music style during that time period. We heard rap in the rollerskating rinks and house parties and in the parks..just like NYC. Hot groups where the treacherous three (kool moe dee ) Sugar Hill Gang, Grand Master Flash, Jimmy Spicer, King Tim The third..etc. Rap music was an exscape from violence and it was fun and uplifting. The Music was made for the whole family. It made you feel good and you could sing along and rhyme along with the whole record. The singles were 8, 9, 13, 15 minutes long and you knew all the words and the songs played every weekend at the parties for years and didnt get old! Then around 1987 -88, the suburban kids discovered the music and for some reason the demand for positive hip hop faded and groups like whodini, mantronix, whistle, joe ski love, Biz etc got replaced and the music was redefined by NWA, Luke Skywalker,Too Short, Public Enemy we all generating heavy demand from kids rebelling in the burbs and refusing to follow the music of their elders. The labels followed and supported this demand and the rest is history! Bottom line is like Jazz and Blues we abandon what we create and leave it to be re invented then we complain. We have been entertaining the nasses for years putting little value on our culture and selling out for materialism.. The younger generation does not understand the real history and importance of the format and we are left to settle with what’s left. i don’t fault the new generation because i have lived to see it happen before with Jazz, Blues, House Music, Techno and now Hip Hop and rap. DJ culture is also affected. We just need solutions now and not excuses or warped theories that are not factual or accurate regarding what really happened if people can not take it back to 1980 then they have no real understanding of what happend, what is happening or what will happen. i think Lyte, Latifah and even heather b represent the female MC to the fullest and they deserve more credit that females that rhyme about their body parts for entertainment!


    I must say, I really love Hip-Hop, I love it to death. I will always love it. I will always be Hip-Hop, I’m 31, I growed up when it was just hitting, I use to love when my Brother, came home with a new record, from Cool James, or Run D.M.C, Kurtis Blow, Eric B. & Rakim, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane. My brother had me Breakin, we went to visit my cousin in the west, they introduce us to poppin, I’m from the timeline of High-top fades, Dukey Ropes, two finger rings. Its still here, in my heart, Hip-Hop is how I live. I still can spit a fresh freestyle, off da top ya dig, its dope being Hip-Hop. You can’t take it back when it never lefted. She’s showing you the many stages of life, so set back enjoy the ride. Everybody lives a different Hip-Hop.

  • chillin mayne

    LYTE, c if they give you a extra week of bloggin or sumthin…but yea, you on point with this one…i just turned 22, and im thirstin for real music…comin up, i was never really a fan of these dudes thats tryna make a buck…thats why i scoff at these characters saying jay-z should retire…WAT IN THE HELL??…jay still sick…nas still making what i want to hear…plus………..dont more experience make you more knowledgeable, so shouldnt rappers be getting stronger lyrically as they progress albumwise??? that is the goal…unless your just in it for the money that is…

  • campbell hausfeld mig welder

    Hi, that is a great posting i do believe. i truly appreciate along and i need to learn more aobut this post. Thanks. :)