MC Lyte Says She Wanted To Be Sexier But Record Label Executives Wouldn't Let Her

Not everyone thought she should show off her sexy side.

BYErika Marie
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

She's a legend in the rap game who is a pioneer for women emcees in hip hop. MC Lyte first came to prominence in the late 1980s as a teenager and made history as the first solo female rapper to drop a full-length album with Lyte as a Rock. Lyte didn't rely on her sexuality to sell records and was praised strictly for her musical abilities and lyricism, and the rapper discussed why she wasn't able to show more skin back in the day during her feature on WeTV's Untold Stories of Hip Hop.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

In a clip from a recent episode, Angie begins by saying it's important for her to give women in hip hop a voice, and she touched on how the ladies in the industry are oversexualized. The host stated that there is an expectation for female rappers to exude sexuality, but MC Lyte never exemplified that in her career. According to the rapper, that wasn't necessarily her choice. Although she portrayed a more tomboy style, she didn't have a problem with showing off her more sensual side.

"The funny thing is, at some point, I was ready to be sexy," Lyte revealed. "I was reprimanded by my label exec like, 'No, you don't have to do that.'" Angie was surprised. "It was the album I dropped in '91, Act Like You Know," Lyte continued. "When she saw the photo shoot she called me and she said, 'What is this? I need you to put your jeans on and I need you to take a photo shoot on the streets of New York.'" Check out the clip from the show and MC Lyte's music video for her 1992 single "Ruff Neck."

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About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.