March 28, 2011

Music Is... Mc Lyte: Lyte As A Rock

An incredible album. This IS 80's hip hop. No, this is excellent hip hop in general, across the board from the point of its creation onward. "Lyte As A Rock" was Lana Mitchel Moorer's debut album back in 1988. Since the beginning, the world of hip hop has been primarily dominated by males. As a matter of fact, that goes for any field. Let me state that you can't be a female artist in this game and willingly be bulldozed around. I have never spoken to, seen up close or even been in the midst of anyone in the music business. However, I know just from common sense, being a woman in a harsh business as such, you've got to have a backbone and a strong backing; a trustworthy team behind you in order to be taken seriously. This MC certainly came in with her head on tight and brought a strong squad. Still in her teens at 16 years old, for her FIRST drop to have such an impact for men and women alike, and for it to be looked upon as what many would consider a blueprint for rap artists, something had to go right. It did and I'm gonna break it down for you.

For this album I'd have to play eeny, meeny, miny, moe just to kick things off. Staying true to myself, I'll begin with the beats. Essentially, I like them all. Getting down to it, every track is broken down simplistically. No beat is too juiced up or over driven with synthesized sound. Hey, I like my synthesizers, but it feels so good to have something toned down a bit. My favorite beats on this album consist of 'MC Lyte Likes Swingin', '10% Dis', 'Lyte As A Rock', 'Paper Thin' and 'Kickin' 4 Brooklyn', all of these strike the right chord effortlessly. "...and you are it." "It" is her lyrical skills. It's apparent that this woman has the rap battle attribute under her belt. Her technique is flawless and packs punch in the way she approaches rhyming. From start to finish she does not let up on any verse. With the exception of a few choice words on some tracks, Lyte doesn't bombard you with profanity and vulgarity to get her point across. She uses smart lyrics and careful wording to make an impact, something I respect immensely. The production shines through clear as day from K-Rock, Audio Two and the King Of Chill.

"Do you understand the metaphoric phrase "Light as a rock"? It's explaining how heavy the young lady is...", a bold phrase that explains both the album as a whole and the MC herself. Lana has definitely become an inspirational lyricist for experienced MC's and those brand new. My favorite sampling is from Missy Eliot for the track 'Cop That Disc', and we all know the 'I Love College' track from Asher Roth inspired form '10% Dis'. If you listen closely you can hear MC Lyte at the beginning of this one. Please check out "Lyte As A Rock" through and through if you've been living under a "rock", it's worth it no doubt.

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