MC Lyte: Cheerleaders in a man’s world

By Lora Neng
January 29, 2014

Even as she stunned the music industry by releasing an album on her own terms, Beyonce wrote in The Shriver Report that gender equality is a myth: “Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender.”

MC Lyte echoed the point in her recent interview with XXL, finding the barriers in Hip Hop to be especially pronounced. “It’s a man’s world.”

“Many years ago I was stunned when I watched this music video and saw a female rapper dressed the way that females were dressed when being objectified in male videos,” said MC Lyte. “I think it started some time ago, when the majority of hip-hop music consumers were male. It’s the same when watching football, where it has nothing to do with women, yet we have women out there cheerleading.” Even as women are filling many producer roles, she wanted to see more female emcees to shift the culture.

The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink includes additional contributions from Eva Langoria, LeBron James, and Hillary Clinton.

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