Jalen Rose and MC Lyte discuss hip-hop and style

Trailblazing feminine rapper MC Lyte has some sage recommendation: “I’d by no means recommend to a feminine MC to do what I did,” she advised me on this week’s “Renaissance Man.”

As a younger woman dreaming of changing into a recording artist, she went with a man good friend to Staten Island as a result of the label First Precedence Music, based by Nat Robinson, was on the lookout for a feminine artist to signal.

“I had my rhyme guide. We went to Staten Island. It was chilly as I don’t know what. We have been going over on the ferry. We received there. That they had a Thunderbird,” she stated. “[We] jumped within the Thunderbird, went to the home, went to the basement. There have been like 9 guys within the basement all ready for me to get there.” She opened up her rhyme guide, took the mike and took management of the room. “And I assume that’s after I knew I had one thing.”

Trying again, she is aware of that her fateful journey to Shaolin might have put her in peril — despite the fact that it resulted in her massive break. She turned the primary feminine MC to launch an album, “Lyte as a Rock,” and one of many first hip-hop artists to play Carnegie Corridor.

“I’d by no means say ‘go over on the Staten Island ferry on an island which you’ll’t get off of except you’re driving otherwise you take a ferry’ … I’d by no means inform somebody to enter a basement of a home the place they know completely nobody besides the man that introduced them there,” she stated. “It was only a recipe for catastrophe. And thank God that’s not what they have been about.”

However MC Lyte, whose second season of “Companions in Rhyme” on AllBlk TV simply dropped, stated she by no means “approached being on this enterprise as a girl,” however as a human. Nevertheless, she was a feminine working her magic in a male dominated world, so being thought-about a pioneer comes with the territory. Her affect stays with artists equivalent to Rapsody telling me MC Lyte made her wish to get into the rap recreation.

“I by no means thought-about myself the primary. I at all times thought, you already know, hey, I’m simply in it. I’m pushing the tradition ahead. But it surely wasn’t till I received older that I noticed how troublesome it truly was,” she stated. “So that you requested me, ‘How did I really feel as soon as I received there?’ I don’t know. The delineating second of, ‘Oh, I made it.’ I felt considerably completed on the first Grammy nomination.”

The Brooklyn native, who began rapping at 12, has additionally been a style chief and stated her fashion again within the day was a bit edgier than the Dapper Dan of Harlem devotees. She rocked Simpsons characters throughout her clothes and favored Karl Kani and 5001 Flavors — the latter of which received her audited by the IRS as a result of she was getting a lot stock from them. She stated it was ultimately tossed out.

However maybe her most vital function is of a really youthful elder stateswoman of hip-hop. MC Lyte has at all times been vocal about violence in hip-hop, relationship again to the late ’80s when she joined different rappers for the “Cease the Violence Motion,” with the long-lasting music “Self Destruction.” These days, she makes use of social media to talk out.

“I feel [rap wars and violence] has rather a lot to do with these monikers that considerably journalists are answerable for, you already know, even coining this phrase ‘old skool.’ Or corny phrases of those segmented methods of wanting on the hip-hop style. And when you begin having segments, it’s like something when you’ve groups, when you’ve an Atlanta staff and you’ve got LA, everyone’s rooting for his or her staff. So it turns into very segregated,” she stated including that somewhat battle isn’t unhealthy, however “when it will get off report is once we begin to have a difficulty. I come from a college of braggadocio. In case you can’t say you’re a badass, then you definitely may as nicely simply sit down. However then, you already know, we’ve had incidents in hip-hop the place it began on report after which it went out into the world.”

MC Lyte
MC Lyte turned one of many first hip-hop artists to play Carnegie Corridor.
Getty Photos for BET

MC Lyte, whose favourite younger artist is J Cole, is all about unity. And we must always take heed to her sermons about not going into unusual basements, but additionally: Life.

“We’re dropping too many individuals. And never simply from music, simply basically, throughout the board. It’s by no means been really easy simply to shoot a gun,” she stated, including, “It’s like what is actually taking place with the worth that we’re placing on lives?”

Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the College of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab 5, who shook up the school hoops world within the early ’90s. He performed 13 seasons within the NBA, earlier than transitioning right into a media persona. Rose is at present an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He govt produced “The Fab 5” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” collection, is the writer of the best-selling guide, “Obtained To Give the Folks What They Need,” a style tastemaker, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Management Academy, a public constitution faculty in his hometown.