MC Lyte is Cold Rockin’ Hip-Hop Feminism in Major Ways (Video)

MC Lyte has added activist, businesswoman, and philanthropist to her resume thanks to her tremendous work in empowering children and women. Having founded the Hip-Hop Sisters Foundation, a non-profit that promotes positive images of women of ethnic diversity, she has made it her life’s goal to work on behalf of her fellow sisters in the realms of education, finance, health, and more. The Brooklyn, New York rapper has been deeply involved with several other organizations as of late, including the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey, a program which sets youth up with inspirational leaders in an effort to encourage the manifestation of imagination for a productive and fruitful future. She is also a founding member of the W.E.A.L.T.H. (womanhood, expansion, assets, leadership, transformation, health) Experience, a retreat which hosts workshops and proactive events aimed at providing women with the tools necessary to establish and execute clearly framed goals.

She recently spoke with WBLS 107.5FM in New York City to not only promote all of her recent undertakings, but also to reflect on her life’s first love: Hip-Hop. When asked who inspired her as a youngster, she responds without a moment’s hesitation. “Melle Mell. When ‘[The] Message’ came out, I had to know all the words. And then of course came Run-D.M.C. and ‘Sucka MCs’ and Slick Rick with ‘La Di Da Di.'” After sharing her experience doing “the pop-lock and all of that stuff” at a school talent show, she shares some advice for the youth, saying “what it is that you can envision can actually come to be. It just takes hard work, tenacity, and being prepared for when that moment does come.” Of her own journey, MC Lyte says that “being exposed to different art forms” at a young age is really what propelled her towards achieving her true potential, listing theater, museums, and art class as integral parts of her development. “Those are the things that gave me the vision to know that I could do and be more,” she explains.

MC Lyte takes a moment to speak directly to her fellow Brooklynites, saying “we are enthralled in a movement that has us completely excited. It’s called the W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience, and we are literally looking to change women’s lives. Once they’re at the top of their game, then their household, their community, then everybody seeks to benefit,” she says.

Happy Women’s History Month.

Related: Celebrate International Women’s Day with Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, TLC, & More (Video)