BLOG: Forgotten Love

As I look back on this career of mine there are probably many things I could find that I would change. Decisions that were made by me, or for me, that I wouldn’t necessarily agree with now. There used to be a time I wouldn’t even want to discuss those areas, but now I have a certain amount of freedom that I’ve given myself to talk about past mistakes and stoooopid choices (lol). So ride with me down memory “I might have effed up lane.”

Growing up within the First Priority Music family afforded me the opportunity to see how a label operated. I stuffed envelopes with records and put stickers, buttons and pins in the mail for my own fan clubs. If there was anything I learned, it was there is nothing more gratifying then participating with the ground work that ultimately will shape a career; be it mine or anyone else’s. Before long the independent FPM was signed to Atlantic Records, with the ability to use a larger staff on deck at the major. The success came quick to outsiders who were truly unaware of all the YMCA performances and the dive clubs we visited up and down the eastern shore.

We knew every DJ and as a matter of fact, we thanked them all on the back of every release. Every DJ that helped in our FPM mission. We even knew their government names and their families. We’d meet at all the conventions and music seminars. We had a tie and a desire to make history together in this new genre of music. As artists we wanted to make new innovative music and as DJs they wanted to be the first to play it. They wanted to break that record and show their listeners they knew a hit when they heard it. They prided themselves on educating their listeners with music they had never heard.

There are many DJs today who knew me when I was 16 and wet behind the ears. From Red Alert to Greg Street to Chuck Chill Out to Tony Touch to Konan and a bunch of others. I remember calling Chuck Chill Out at 3 a.m. asking him to play my record “I Cram to Understand.” He didn’t even know how I got his number, but what he did know was little Lyte was on the grind and wasn’t stopping until she made some history. We laugh about me stalking him whenever we see one another!!

The problem came to be when I, as an artist, lost communication with each and every DJ who repped for MC Lyte. The schedule got busy and the road became my home not allowing me to be at my spot for months at a time, not to mention Thanksgiving was supplied by a die hard member of the fan club. They would bring home-cooked turkey, dressing and mac & cheese to the hotel for the entire crew of 12 that traveled with me; talk about happy to see REAL food! Waffle house is alright, but not 7 days a week (lol).

Anyhow, with all that movement I was content with this newfound section major labels had created now known as the “mix show department.” This mix show person knew all the DJs and could get a message, records as well as pictures to all of them at once. The pressure was gone. However, with that relief, I let go of the friendships I had built along the line with all those DJs. It was to hard to try too keep up.

How did I mess up? I gave too much power to the middle man in allowing him to be my mouthpiece. There used to be a time most DJs would talk to artists and tell them what could help a record or increase radio play. They would share their views on the mix and who they thought you should feature on it. Some still do, while others hate on the sideline not understanding a movement that was here before them and will be here long after.

Matter of fact I got a call from Hot 97′s own Greg Street the other night telling me how hot he thought “Rocking With the Best” was. He said, “Lyte this record is really big, but not unless you put a new cat on it, it’s not going to go the distance it could.” That’s his opinion and I respect it and him. I appreciate that call and Greg knows me well enough to know that I’m going to take his advice. : )

Sincerely yours, MC Lyte

  • Silly Willy

    Nice to see you around, Mc Lyte!

    Personally, I think mistakes are normal for everyone. If you just focus on the goal and stay hungry, every mistake is just a step of the ladder to success. We still feel your love for the game to this very day, so I guess it’s a success for you.

    Knowledge is back in the guest blog spot!

    And Pierzy, by the way….

    • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

      What up Willy? Good lookin’ out!

      • Silly Willy

        Whatido, P?

        This is too easy:

        SHE IS THE BEST THAT EVER DID THIS, HANDS DOWN ! The Best We Ever Had (No Drizzy)!

        No need to take the Johnny Gill approach to therapy on this one, word to Grand$….

        • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

          whats good SW?

          no surprise you beat Pierzy to this one! it was like being at a real concert, huh… stayed on line all night to get good seats! oooh, MC lyte is gonna LOVE you!

        • Silly Willy

          What up, playboy?

          Never on schedule but always on time!

          After that dark week, a dazzling Lyte woke me up! Need to get good seats to take advantage of it, yahmeen? I’m organized like that.

          LMAO at real concert !!!!

  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    Hallelujah!

    Ms. Lyte, thank you for joining us! You were the one person I had in mind when the topic of a female guest blogger speaking on the state of hip-hop.

    Everyone else take note and give respect to the greatest female emcee of all time.

    It’s a tough line in the industry and more than a few artists have been tripped up by it. While it’s sad what Greg Street had to say, it’s also the truth (unfortunately) and I think it’s smart to take his advice.

    • General

      What up P?

      Do you think this weeks Guest Blogs will be a little improvement over last weeks, LOL…

      • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

        What’s good, Gen?!

        Already is. Although she would never do this, she could’ve said, “I’m MC Lyte. I’m a pioneer but I still respect the art and am always looking for the new wave of hip-hop. What do y’all think?”

        I think Lyte is one of the most underrated hip-hop artists of all time. What she did to the culture, especially for women, cannot be denied.

        • 313Dawg

          I agree 100!!! Unmatched dopeness!! There hasn’t been anyone like her since!! Not even close!! 1st ballad Hall Of Famer!!!

  • abdulnasir

    nice to have an mc back on the guest blog. wat’s up lyte, good looking. oh, pierzy… FIRST!!!

  • abdulnasir

    shit y’all motherufckers must be flash, no one commented when i read this, lol!

    • Silly Willy

      Not flash, homie. Lyte-speed….

  • http://www.twitter.com/socialite149 Victoria Page

    Nice to have you on the guest blog this week Lyte…a breath of fresh air!

  • Silly Willy

    On an unrelated matter, there’s one thing I’d like to ask you Ms Lyte.

    Since you come from a completely different hiphop generation as this one we enjoy/endure right now, do you think a mature, older brand of hiphop is possible? I mean from a commercial, or just artistic viewpoint.

    Cause if it could, there won’t be no need for generation clash or whatever, and everyone can contribute to this hiphop thing, vets and youngs, for the benefit of all the party people.

  • General

    Nice blog. You put an important lesson in here for the young cats, which is that no matter how nice you think you are, you have to put in a lot of grind and build relationships with the people (DJ’s) that will ultimately make or break your record…

    Also it is refreshing to see someone who is as accomplished as Lyte still willing to listen to advice from those people instead of letting her ego guide the way…(Are you listening Jay?)

    • shawnb

      “Are you listening Jay?”

      Wow dude are you serious.It just keeps trippin me out that no matter what blog or totally irrelevant subject comes up it still leads to a JAY-Z comment.First of all he put two of the biggest stars in the game on his new single already(and im sure he took that advice from someone) and second of all who would he take advice from anyway.Dame Dash is gone and now he’s the biggest hip hop figure we have.You honestly think someone of his fame is gonna take someone elses advice.Im pretty sure he knows that his skills aint the same but compared to everyone else he’s still the “God MC”(AND THATS COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO BECAME A DIE HARD JAY FAN AFTER THE FIRST BLUEPRINT DROPPED).Regardless of whats going on with his current music its still getting radio play(and im from a fucking small town in Virginia)and thats all that matters.Sorry Lyte….great blog….you are the greatest femcee EVER

      • General

        Damn, take a deep breath, its gonna be alright…

        • shawnb

          just stating the facts brutha

  • G2

    Great insight on the some of the behind the scenes work that goes on in the music game. I like the new track as it is. Would a new cat help it get radio play, I guess, but that’s one of the flaws of today’s climate. Personally, I’m getting tired of every song being the result of some kind of collaboration…SlaughterHouse not included! Less than 24 more hours!!

    Good luck with the new project Ms. Lyte.

  • the real gangster

    MC lyte is the best female raper of all time.

    • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

      Co-Sign.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    I swear, I hope she’s not a lesbian……….

  • Chiquita B

    I had to comment on this. I LOVE MC LYTE. From Paper Thin to Cappuccino to I’m not having it w/ Positive K to I Am the Lyte. I think she is a great emcee (notice I said emcee not femcee). She had wordplay for days and could hang with the best of them. Personally, I always thought she had the best verse on self destruction. Off topic her asymmetrical hair cut WAS ALWAYS on point. What? Im a woman i had to say something about her hair. :).

    • shawnb

      uhhhh…..i dont see anything wrong with saying femcee…i only said that because her lyrics were always overlooked by her influence,innovations and breakthroughs in the game…..sorry if i touched the wrong button

  • fredMS

    Its ironic that lyte is blogging the week after that really dumb girl. Its like literature because she is lyte’s exact foil.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    YYYYEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!

    “There used to be a time most DJs would talk to artists and tell them what could help a record or increase radio play. They would share their views on the mix and who they thought you should feature on it. Some still do, while others hate on the sideline not understanding a movement that was here before them and will be here long after”

    You ain’t lying with that!

    That’s why we still need people like you to keep repping this thing right, and not like the one we had last week, who are trying to fake it through.

    It’s gonna be a good week.

  • capcobra

    10.11 what up.

  • Mutada al sader the king

    I always loved Lyte. It was unfortunate that she got “lumped in” as an undercover lesbian like a few others back in the 90′s. While that stigma is not as bad today,it kind of hurt her back then day. But real recognize real, and this woman is one of the best to ever touch a Mic.. Male or female. Legend

  • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

    The thing about MC Lyte, that she probably didn’t forecast when she was younger, is that she has/had the staying power, that a Roxanne, Roxanne Shante, Ms Melody didn’t have back then. While the old(er) school female rapper is somewhat of a dinosaur, she’s been changing & evolving with the times, a la Latifah. Back in those days, if you didn’t have “it”, you were esily edged out by the dudes.

    Even today, who’s a relevant female MC? I don’t want to hear Trina of Lil Kim, either.

    I respect that hustle to the fullest. My kids love her on “Half & Half”.

    Big up Lyte. Keep doing it.

    • http://www.myspace.com/atlatino El Tico Loco

      They still get edged out by the dudes Tony that’s why there’s no relevant female emcees. What sucks though is that we’re in an era where the middle men (program directors, label execs) are overstepping their boundaries and becoming the tastemakers instead of the performers and DJ’s, when vultures started getting involved the game got messed up, and those mix shows where DJ’s actually got to break new artists based on talent, connections helped but quality mattered everything else was secondary.

    • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

      what up Grands!

      by relevant, do you mean popular? cause Jean Grae is FLY wit hers. also Rah Digga don’t get it like she should. respectignition, i mean, you dirty bastards. and if that’s not a word, i’ll copyright it.

      and even Nikki Manaj. go back and listen to her stuff before she POPped off. she just may fuck it up. but she has a ridiculous flow.

      and Sha Rock was always the truth. Mercedes Ladies, classic material. Robbie B put me on to all that shit. even Pebbly Poo. now i just may have lost a couple of yall…

      • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

        What’s good, Cult?

        I feel you [||]. Maybe “relevant” was the wrong word.

        I meant, from her position as a pioneer, she’s outlasted her peers, as well as those MCettes that followed in her footsteps. She’s still making music, like 20 years later, movies, TV, so I guess I was trying to nod @ her legendary status. Many lady rapstresses came in the door, banging nonetheless, but ultimately didn’t have the staying power that MC Lyte does.

        Even the girls who came in on a cool gimmick (tits & ass) couldn’t make the transition of working as a rapper to making rap work for them.

        Thats definitely not to take away from any of the others who did/do it well, but they’re not on here blogging with us.

        Lyte was able to straddle that tomboy/pretty girl image, & very few have been able to duplicate it.

        • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

          i agree wit u completely. i just wanted to make sure i answered your question right. it was a good one.

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

          Yeah, that should’ve read something like “who’s more of a legend?” or “what female MC can take her place?”.

          Good call, because I damn sure wasn’t trying to sleep on the likes of Rah, Lauryn (the rapper), Remy, hell, for that matter Bahamadia, Lady of Rage, etc.

          It’s really a bad look for Hip Hop that there’s no ladies dominating. I guess I would put Nicki Minaj in that box, but it’s more for a lack of lady presence, versus being a good girl rapper. Like Rah, she surrounded herself with real rap dudes, so she had to stay on point, for example. Same with Remy.

        • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

          Whatupdoe?

          I want to throw another name in there. Bahamadia. She dope, real smooth/chill-like. Mad talented! I don’t understand why she couldn’t blow up. Same for Jean Grae. Not too familiar with Nikki Minaj besides a few weblogs, articles and T&A jokes floating around the ‘nets. I’ll check her out though.

        • http://www.bboycult.com www.bboycult.com

          how could i forget Bahamadia? and Lauryn! shit, i’m bout to retake the test. and i feel you on Nikki Minaj. thats why i say she look like she’s gonna fuck it up. but check some of her shit before she got with Young Money and was just from Queens, she was ill. so maybe that wasn’t a good answer to your question if the likely hood of her staying “relevant” to the culture is based on what she’s ABOUT to do. so

          Jamal7mile, i suggest you backtrack on her. but i don’t cosign nothin new. i’m sayin she “could be”. she was off to a great start. see for yourself.

          and as far as taking Lyte’s place? NO FUCKING WAY. she’ll need 2 of Zues’s lightnin bolts, Wonder Woman’s magic lasso, Rakim’s microphone, 20 years, AND be drunk off the wine Jesus made from water to pull that off…

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

          “and as far as taking Lyte’s place? NO FUCKING WAY. she’ll need 2 of Zues’s lightnin bolts, Wonder Woman’s magic lasso, Rakim’s microphone, 20 years, AND be drunk off the wine Jesus made from water to pull that off…”

          ^^^ Lmao! Priceless….

        • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

          Ha Haaa!! Preach! What it do, Grand$?!

        • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grands

          @J7

          Whatitdo fam?! Hope all’s well in the D [||].

          @Cult

          I had heard of her back then, before she got all Young Money’d up, then after that, I just lumped her in with Wayne, Mack Maine, Tyga, Jae Millz; a bunch of niggas who don’t really rap good enough to keep my interest. I’m going to give her another shot, though (no pun intended).

  • http://www.hotboxbeats.blogspot.com hotbox

    Lyte is the female GOAT hands down. She has a solid catalogue with a bunch of undisputed classics. Much respect to her and to XXL for inviting her. She co-signed a remix I did for The Wonder Years with a drop back in 2006, although she probably doesn’t remember.

    As a side note, I had a crazy crush on homegirl when I was a kid. . then on her third album she had this song about how she was feeling younger guys and I was in love. She looks prettier than ever; she looks like she’s 26. I wonder if she’s single now? haha

  • P. Harris

    First off just want to say that “Cha Cha Cha” is one of the dopest tracks ever, beat, rhyme, video, all of that was dope… niggas had dance routines to that shit… LOL…

    Thanks for sharing your perspective and giving insight on what mistakes you’ve made as artist. It takes heart for anyone to admit a mistake period and not suprisingly it just let’s us know that MC Lyte is as human as anyone else.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blogs…

    http://www.myspace.com/pharris27610

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/EmCDL EmCDL

    Cool a real guest blogger! Thanks Ms. Lyte for shedding some light (lol) on this subject; I’m a young cat trying to do my thing with my music and its good to know how it really was as far as getting your music out there back in the heyday. And the fact that you still value opinions and being humble about it makes it better all the more. I remember my sister use to bump to you non stop back when I was younger and I was bobbing my head as well. In fact, I’ma do some bargain bin hunting so I can listen to your classics. Looking forward to your next blog post.

  • render

    lol xxl bounce back like mickey rourke after last weeks female blogger experiment

    even as a former dj (club not radio)I gotta say, you aint wrong on that point. Too much influence has ended up in the hands of people who aren’t creating any thing new

  • Monty B.

    Lyte,

    I had a crush on you back in the 80′s… That crush is still strong.

    Thank you for repping Hip Hop to the fullest. Everyone makes mistakes in their career. But, you always kept it real.

  • BIGNAT

    i am going crazy right now this is exactly what i wanted from the guest spot. someone who has insight into the business and loves there craft. i ask could you drop some of your favorite songs that you did yourself at the end of every post you do.

  • http://myspace.com/federalranga Federal Ranga

    Miss Lyte…

    I for one am sorry to for my tardiness on your beautiful blog. I’m am glad to see this HUGE improvement over Shakur’s blog…

    Everybody should know that the music industry is a harsh experience if you’re not prepared and even when you think you have things under control or know what you have planned, the game throws you a curve.

    Out of pure respect for a LEGEND. I will NOT plug my vlog on any of your posts. Real talk.

    Commission!!!

  • Brooklyn

    in my opinion, mc lyte should have been last week’s blogger too, and saved us from the ignorance that was that middle eastern video ho. anyhoo, mc lyte is a legend, one of, if not the, best female to ever bless the mic. and not only was she nice, but she was nice without having to go the lil kim/foxy/trina route and play up her sexuality. as i was born in the late 80′s, i only remember her 90′s stuff, but it was still greater than a lot of the other stuff that was out then.

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Oh LAWD!! I’m in the presence of GREATNESS!!! When Vanessa did that post asking about female emcees for guest blogs, MC Lyte was the ONLY name that came to my mind (check that drop if you don’t believe me). Thanks Ness!!!

    Lyte, whoaaa… you just don’t know! I had a crush on you since “Paper Thin” debut on BET! I been knew you had respect for the DJ’s because you would always say “kick this one here for me and my DJ.” I still don’t like Todd-1 because back then you was MY woman!

    After a horrible Monday you are exactly who I need to see, hear, read and chill with all week!!! It’s an understatement to say I look forward to reading your blog this week!

    …Damn, I don’t know how to act, right now…

  • 313Dawg

    How refreshing!!! Take Heed Youngins!!!

  • Pana

    This was so unexpected! I never thought xxl would actually grant us our wish! You make me so very proud to be a Brooklyn girl!

  • trey

    No need for apology’s Ma, this is how you can apologize to us.. You ready.

    GET YO! Fine self back into the studio and rock this thing right – cause ya’ know you got pa’wa pa’wa lawd… send don the power power lawd.. trey is old school new school.

    from 87 till now we miss ya.. and ya still young guh..

  • Master Cheef

    plus, i’d rather fuck lyte anyway. she still looks damn good, and you know she knows how to handle big daddy’s cock.

  • that nigga Grizzly

    still lookin good, I’d hit it

  • http://www.scritchandscratch.com/blog VEe

    Cool blog post.

    “but not unless you put a new cat on it”
    . . . that is so sad for rap acts. It’s not rap acts can perform with the guest artist regularly. Should all new acts record a song with Wayne in order for their project to get legs. I understand that the advice is grounded on certain industry realities but there are a number of artist that debut without any special guest appearances.

  • Young History in the Makig

    Good to see you blogging this week Lyte..that was a good read…real hip-hop