MC Lyte was born Lana Moorer, in Queens, New York on October 11, 1970. She was raised however in Brooklyn, New York in the East Flatbush section. Lyte started rapping at the age of 12 years old. Her biggest inspiration at that time were her two brother Milk and Gizmo who were apart of the rap group Audio Two. In 1987, her father Nat Robinson started a record label called First Priority. At the age of seventeen, Lyte released her first single titled, “I Cram to Understand U (Sam)”. The record was about a woman who feels as though she has to compete for her man’s attention, it’s not another woman she is competing with, it’s her man’s addiction to cocaine. She released her first album titled “Lyte as a Rock” in 1988 on her father’s record label, her brothers produced the album. At the age of nineteen, Lyte put out her sophomore album titled “Eyes on This” just a year after her debut album was released. On this album, she has a song titled “Cappuccino” which she takes a courageous stand against violence.
MC Lyte had released multiple albums between the late 80’s and early 2000’s and decided to take a much-needed break from music after releasing her 2003 album. The last album that MC Lyte gave to the world was in 2015, entitled “Legend”. Her music in the entertainment industry never went unnoticed. MC Lyte was the first female artist to earn a gold single. She was also the first rap artist to perform at Carnegie Hall and went on to be the first female rapper to ever be nominated for a Grammy Award with her song “Ruffneck”. Outside of Lyte being an amazing force in not only the Hip Hop world, but the music industry she went on to pursue a career in film and television. In the late 90’s Lyte appeared on multiple hit sitcoms, “Moesha”, “In The House” with LL Cool J, and the ever popular drama series at the time “New York Undercover”.
Lyte serves as the CEO of her own management and production company called Sunni Gryl, Inc. provides executive leadership and customized strategies in the areas of celebrity/artist support, development, and management; brand development and management; wealth maintenance; community affairs and outreach; and production/creative services. She has also done a plethora of voice work for many award show: BET Awards, Grammys, Emmys, and the NAACP Image Awards to name a few. She has also done some voice work for major Fortune 500 companies as well. Lyte has never shied away from using her platform to raise awareness to any cause she saw fit. She became an anti-violence spokesperson, for the Stop the Violence campaign, which she got to go around to schools and speak to children about. She appeared on multiple Rock the Vote campaign, spreading awareness of why voting matters.
In 1990, she appeared in public service announcements that supported AIDS charities, which is how she became the first rapper to perform at Carnegie Hall for the AIDS benefit. Lyte founded her own charity called “Hip Hop Sisters Foundation” which has presented over a million dollars in scholarships. Lyte has always been a force to be reckoned with in Hip Hop game. She never let misogyny or sexism run her away from her passion when it came to rapping. She opened many doors for others to come behind her and continues to make strides in the industry after her almost four-decade long career.