MC Lyte

MC Lyte Talks About The Lack Of Female Rappers In The Mainstream

(AllHipHop News) The female voice in Hip Hop has played an important role in the continued success of the culture since its early days.

Groundbreaking artists like Roxanne Shanté, Sha-Rock, Sister Souljah, Queen Latifah, and MC Lyte paved the way for the following generation of femcees like Lauryn Hill, Missy Elliott, Lil Kim, Foxy Brown, Eve, and then eventually Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Azealia Banks, and Angel Haze.

[ALSO READ: Missy Elliott Talks About The High Expectations For Her Return To Music]

While women in Hip Hop have produced chart topping singles and classic albums over the last three decades, major labels are still not signing the lyrical ladies at the same rate as their male counterparts.

Evidence of this difference is the fact that in 2010 only 3 female rappers were signed to a major label record deal; at one point there were 40. Subsequently, there was not one solo album by a female rapper that broke into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 2013.

NPR reported the lack of female rappers at the major labels in a recent blog post by Erik Nelson. The writer also points out that Nicki Minaj’s 2010 album Pink Friday was the first solo LP by a female rap artist to go platinum since Lil Kim’s La Bella Mafia in 2003.

Pink Friday is the last album from a female rapper to sell over a million units as well. Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012) is only certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 1 million units. It is currently around 825,000 copies in actual sales.

The presence of female Hip Hop artists on a national level appears to be fading once again. Nelson spoke with rap legend MC Lyte about the current status of female rappers in the mainstream.

“We’ve gone backwards,” said Lyte. “This is pretty much what it was like when women weren’t able to get major recording and release opportunities.”

MC Lyte became the first female rapper to release a solo album on major label with Lyte as a Rock in 1988. She went on to drop Eyes on This, Ain’t No Other, and Bad as I Wanna B. Lyte has also worked extensively in other media fields, and she started the non-profit foundation Hip Hop Sisters Network.

While Lyte works with her organization to promote positive images of woman of color, the New York native suggests the level of disrespect for women in Hip Hop has created a market that is unfavorable to female rappers.

“It has gotten to the point that we have been subjected to such harsh verbal treatment — assassinated even — that who would want to listen?” Lyte added.

While mainstream female rap is represented almost entirely by Nicki Minaj at the moment, there are numerous femcees making waves with listeners. Jean Grae, Rapsody, Nitty Scott, Tiffany Foxx, 3D Na’Tee, Brianna Perry, Awkwafina, Sasha Go Hard, and others are all working to keep the female voice in rap music alive without significant mainstream attention.

[ALSO READ: Nicki Minaj Answers Lawsuit Claiming She Stole “Starships” Song]

  • Reblogged this on HUEY mix wit RILEY.

  • Pingback: MC Lyte Talks About The Lack Of Female Rappers In The Mainstream | Real Talk Urban Magazine()

  • Brindle

    SHIPPED PLATINUM (ANTICIPATION) SOLD 800,000+ (REALITY)… These artist just be lying to us and don’t even care if we find out the truth years later… on to the next lie… Where’s Remy Ma at???

    • Dubz

      In Jail.

    • So who pays for the unsold albums?
      #Recoupment

  • Being a FEMALE RAP ARTIST is NOT for the weak hearted. Props to ANY and EVERY female hip hop artist who has been able to generate any level of success and then transition over to other areas of entertainment and business, including MC Lyte and Queen Latifah.

    • 50Cent

      Bruhh i didnt know LL made beats these days.. nah just playing u aint got a soundcloud?

      • lol yeah I have a soundcloud /docjambeats

      • 50Cent

        That pac beat nasty! i followed u

  • BlaqCeeza

    We need more M.C’s! We don’t need hoes that rap!

    • 50Cent

      Exactly… I dont care for what these grimy hoes have to say

    • Kingbiggz

      TRUE INDEED!!!! MC’s that goes for the men also.. TOO many RAPPERS!!!

      • Embassy

        Great track… Beasties, Nas… good stuff. RIP MCA

    • Terrance

      “WE DON’T NEED NO HOOKS” nor “HOOKERS”

  • 50Cent

    we dont need more snow da products

  • Hood Oracle

    imagine if a mc lyte in her prime, would have came out in this era…it would have been incredible…im tired of these post lil kim barbie doll self absorbed rapper girls, I just want a cute girl that can spit some clever shit and has a good ear for beats and dope concepts

  • Black Jay

    MC Lyte is speaking the truth. I appreciate that. But the women of her time were of a different breed. They had character and skills. Sure you had a few that shook their asses and showed tit for the dough, but they were far and few. Now almost every female rapper at the top of the chart (and believe me there are only one or two) have shown so much ass to get there that you’d think you were at a titty bar. Just look at Nicki Minaj.
    I know a lot of people will put it on the men but a lot of it rests with the women too. You had leaders in the game that understood their position as leaders. Who do the little girls have to look to now? Nicki? So they will duplicate that tit showing strategy. Meanwhile skills fall.
    Props to 9th Wonder (and Duck Down) for at least trying to balance the game. He’s been very influential in attempting to push “skills” to the forefront for female emcees. But if women don’t respect themselves, who will? And that’s just as human beings. Respect starts with yourself first.

    • Inmadopicouroz✓QUEENSᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      u gay though!

    • Inmadopicouroz✓QUEENSᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      You talking respect? LMAO you are the most hateful bigot on AHH, real talk. That’s why I called you out your name girl! U BIT(H U!

    • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

      I ALWAYS THOUGHT EVE WAS DOPE, DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPEN!

      • Black Jay

        Eve was dope. But I think she got wrapped up with that “crew” issue and all of the problems associated with that. She just didn’t have any good political skills. Dr. Dre basically killed her career.

      • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

        THAT JAM “WHAT” WAS DOPE THO! U GOT TO GIVE ME THAT. I’M A DRE FAN.

      • Black Jay

        Yeah…. That was dope. But Dre killed a lot of people’s careers by putting them on the shelf. And Eve should’ve looked at his track record instead of being star struck. Someone mentioned Dre to her and she immediately saw “Chronic” sales for her album. And that killed her.

      • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

        YEAH BACK THEN HE WAS MORE INTO THE MUSIC SIDE.. WITH EM I THINK HE STARTED WORKING MORE ON GROOMING THE ARTIST INSTEAD JUST PRODUCING FOR THEM. YEAH RAKIM, AND RAEKWON TOO.

  • yesanditcounts

    Whether you agree with MC Lyte or not, she has earned the right to voice her opinion on the state of female rappers or any rapper for that matter. We all sit in judgment whether we like to admit it or not. We all have a belief system that guides are lives and if you have a problem with someone judging yours…….then deep down you may not believe your living right.

    • Terrance

      #TRUTH

  • Most female rappers are usually black, and all these black chicks did was fight, and talk about each other in the name of jealousy….. I really think that the once successful Lil Kim and Foxy Brown should have created an empire for other upcoming female acts, this move would have strengthen female presences and would have been the greatest thing for Brooklyn since the Barclays center…..However it’s a new day, and I honestly don’t miss the female presence in Hip-Hop, they don’t do anything for the craft…They take more from Hip-Hop than they actually give.

    • You not talking about Latifah though!

      • Not at all, actually Queen Latifah did pave the way for all the female rappers in the late 90’s…..Not only that Queen Latifah and other female rappers at that time did not beef with each other even though they still never made music together.

      • Terrance

        “I wanna be down” – BRANDY. But I get the point.

      • To small to beef, plus the Queen cinducted herself royally, plus…when it came to beef, she had a meat market.

      • Terrance

        U.N.I.T.Y

      • >>In Meth’s voice : ” Oh ‘Chet that’s the JAM!”

    • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

      I THINK IF BIGGIE WOULD LIVE A LITTLE LONGER, I THINK LITTLE KIM WOULD BEEN MORE POLISH! BETTER MC.

      • And that’s why she fell flat, because these chicks do what they do for a man, and not because it’s something that they love.

      • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

        OK. I GOTCHA NOW. MAKES SENSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT LIKE THAT.

      • Theoldcomer

        She was polished far from amateurish. I do agree if Biggie were around some of her decision making as far as rap career goes probably would have been better.

        My complaint with Lil Kim was the Surgery too me that was a grand mistake.

      • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

        I THINK BIGGIE WOULD HAVE TRIED TO PREVENT THAT TOO. I MEAN YOU CAN’T REALLY STOP A GROWN PERSON, I JUST BELIEVE AS HE GREW SHE WOULD HAVE TOO. YOU CAN TELL HE WROTE A LOTTA OF HER LYRICS.

  • Another obstacle in my opinion is that ALL the female rappers who came out in the 90’s, came out with a male backing. Foxy-Jay, Kim-Big, Remy-Pun/Joe, Eve-DMX, Trina-Trick Daddy, DaBrat-JD, etc;, to even today with Nicki Minaj-Lil Wayne, point is these chicks were hot when the men in their lives gave them the opportunity to do so….Once that opportunity was taken away, all of these chicks fell flat on their faces. So I guess Hip-Hop is governed by men, so until they make females hot again then we will see another female movement.

    • Andi Hester

      Interesting connection made there. It’s almost as if the top men in the industry are the gatekeepers and have the control to pick and choose which women they let in. Hopefully one day women will proportionately be in the ranks of top level decision-makers in the music industry, which will translate into more female rappers and topics that women across the board can identify with.

  • ZUBU

    Lyte = GOAT…. Latifah = GOAT…….
    Nicki, Kim, Foxy, etc. = Slut Rappers…… They don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with Lyte or Queen Latifah……….

    • Terrance

      #HEAT…

    • Not how I would have put it…but I damn sure can’t disagree.

  • Pingback: MC Lyte Talks About The Lack Of Female Rappers In The Mainstream | HIP HOP WORLDWIDE()

  • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

    SHE WAS ON SELF DESTRUCTION WITH THE HOTTEST RAPPERS AT THAT TIME AN HELD HER OWN. ENOUGH SAID.

  • i don’t think there’s ever gonna be a successful female rapper,the only way is if they dabble with R&B and pop,thats the only way…a female rapper making straight hiphop? female fans will not support that sh!t..its kinda like comparing the wnba and the nba..

  • Ionithus

    I wouldn’t say FemC’s went backwards, Maybe in a mental state when it comes to black females, being sexual tokens for the masses (massas). But they went in some other direction leaving their roots (hip hop wise). If they were to go backwards, they would’ve stopped at pioneers like Roxanne Shante, Monie Love, Nonchalant, Lady of Rage, Conscious Daughters, Da Brat, etc. It would be solid then. They ran away from the glorious days in direction of another one.

  • Pingback: MC Lyte Talks About The Lack Of Female Rappers In The Mainstream | ))Street Buzz Radio - WeTheBuzz.com((()

  • Mec-One

    That’s a sexy grown woman right there …….. and she has bars!
    Rah Digga ….needs to drop some new music too!

  • AlbertoRipRon

    Like you did it Lyte? Nah, broads like you would mop up these plastic female mcs quite quickly. The people are wack, therefore the music is wack.

  • Htwn5440

    The problem with females in the rap game is the Industry has made image more important than skills. Until that is fixed Nicki Minaj will always be dominant. (o she can spit don’t get me wrong) Ladies to check out: Tink, Sasha go Hard and 3D Na’Tee.

  • Black

    Lyte the supermodel.

  • kwimby72

    Snow tha Product is pretty good the Majors gota watch how they market her she does have a core fan base though

  • Elayorx El

    ……..”I might adjust to the times, and at times I might just get quicker, than the ticker on your pace maker, more tender than a roni, but harder than a jawbreaker”! Easily in my top 10 all-time MC list. Of course MC Lyte is correct, but that is more so due to the system, than the actual quality of women who are, or who have been MC’s. Who runs the “mainstream” filtration system? I will leave with this: “I hate when one, attempts to analyze, in fact I despise, those who even try, to look into my eyes, to see what I am thinking, that dream is over, your yacht is sinking”! (Kay Slay “DAMN” here)

  • hoeyuno

    MC Lyte was always classier then the average female rapper…female equivalent of Rakim, g rap ect…

  • Isaac Hayes

    That’s my girl her first three albums are solid borderline classic. I have meet her a few times over the years the first time at a concert at Morgan State Univ Baltimore Md summer of 91. Cool peoples much respect to her and she is also right.

  • Pingback: MC Lyte Talks About the Lack of Female Rappers in Mainstream | Lipstick Revolt()

  • Pingback: T.I. To Produce New “Sisterhood Of Hip Hop” Reality Show For Oxygen | AllHipHop.com()

  • Pingback: T.I. To Produce New “Sisterhood Of Hip Hop” Reality Show For Oxygen | Party Mix Gh()

  • Pingback: Forbes Changes Controversial Title Of Iggy Azalea Article | AllHipHop.com()

  • Pingback: @TheRealMissLA "Leave" Official Video | #iRapindIE()

  • Pingback: AllHipHop.com: Hip-Hop News, Rumors, Interviews, Music, Videos and More » Tokyo Vanity: The Industry Only Promotes Female Rappers That Look Like Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim & Dej Loaf (VIDEO)()

  • Pingback: Tokyo Vanity: The Industry Only Promotes Female Rappers That Look Like Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim & Dej Loaf (VIDEO) | My Blog()

  • Pingback: Tokyo Vanity: The Industry Only Promotes Female Rappers That Look Like Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim & Dej Loaf (VIDEO) - Festival Gear()

  • Pingback: Tokyo Vanity: The Industry Only Promotes Female Rappers That Look Like Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim & Dej Loaf (VIDEO)()

  • Pingback: Hip-Hop News, Rumors, Rap Music & Videos |AllHipHop » MC Lyte Discusses Her Rap Inspirations (VIDEO)()

  • Pingback: MC Lyte Discusses Her Rap Inspirations (VIDEO)()

  • Pingback: MC Lyte Discusses Her Rap Inspirations (VIDEO) | Hip Hop Magazine()