Top 10 MC Lyte Songs

MC Lyte Songs

Our Top 10 MC Lyte Songs list looks at a popular rapper from the 80s and 90s. She was one of the first female rappers to have an album appear on the Billboard 200 charts. She was also one of the first solo female rappers to release a full album in 1988. Lyte as a Rock was a critically acclaimed album. She was also the first female rapper to have a gold single with “Ruff Neck.” She’s a major influence for most female rappers. She has recorded a lot of collaborations with different artists including Janet Jackson, Xscape, Brandy, Sinead O’Connor, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Moby and will.i.am. Some of her hits include “Keep On, Keepin’ On,” When in Love,” “Cha Cha Cha,” “10% Dis, “Ruffneck” and “Paper Thin.”

Lana Michele Moorer was born on October 11, 1970. She started rapping when she was 12. She released her first track when she was 16. Her fist single was “I Cram to Understand U (Sam).” The song led to her releasing her debut album Lyte as a Rock. She released the album in 1988. The album peaked at number 50 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It features the singles “Lyte as a Rock,” “10% Dis,” “Paper Thin” and “I Cram to Understand You (Sam).” The album spent 16 weeks on the charts.

Eyes on Dis came out in 1989. The album peaked at number six on R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 86 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Cha Cha Cha,” “Cappucino” and “Stop, Look & Listen.” The album stayed on the charts for 20 weeks.

Act Like You Know was released in 1991. The album peaked at number 14 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and 102 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “When in Love,” “Poor Georgie” and “Eyes Are the Soul.” Ain’t No Other was released in 1993. It peaked at number 16 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 90 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “I Go On” and “Ruffneck.” The album sold over 238,000 copies.

Bad As I Wanna B came out in 1996. The album peaked at number 11 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number 59 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Keep on, Keepin’ On,” “Everyday” and “Cold Rock a Party.” Seven & Seven was released in 1988. The album peaked at number 71 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It features the singles “I Can’t Make a Mistake” and “It’s All Yours.” Legend came out in 2015. It features the singles “Cravin’,” “Dear John,” “Bait” and “Check.”

MC Lyte was an innovator in rap music. She wanted the public to know that there was sexism and misogyny going on in hip-hop music. She tackled the subject in her music. She’s also been credited as making rap more socially conscious. She also talked about racism, sexism and drugs in her songs. She influenced female rappers such as Queen Latifah, Da Brat, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Moni Love, and Lauryn Hill as well as other artists. Our Top 10 MC Lyte Songs list features her best songs.

# 10 – 10 % Dis

The first song on our Top 10 MC Lyte Songs list is “10% Dis” from the album Lyte as a Rock. The song has a hip-hop beat. The bitter song is a diss track to female rapper Antoinette. Antoinette wasn’t in the business long, but MC Lyte wasn’t happy with her. She thought she stole music from her label mates the hip-hop duo Audio Two. MC Lyte decided to write a song about her. The song helped ignite a feud between the rappers. This song was considered one of the greatest diss tracks of all time. MC Lyte gave this song the title because it was only a piece of what she could have said about her. She could have said a lot more if she wanted to do it. If this was considered 10%, we could only imagine what she could have said about her.

Fans of hip-hop music enjoy hearing a battle between rappers every now and then. This track delivers everything fans would want to hear on a diss track. MC Lyte goes all in on Antoinette. You might be shocked to hear the things she has to say about her. She doesn’t come out and mentioned her by name, but fans of the artist know who she’s talking about. MC Lyte proved what type of lyricist she could be because she didn’t know Antoinette, but she was able to go off on her. The music for this song is on point. The music has a classic hip-hop beat, but it would never get old. There are several artists who sampled the track over the years.

# 9 – Paper Thin

The next song on our Top 10 MC Lyte Songs list is “Paper Thin” from the album Lyte as a Rock. The song has a hip-hop sound. The duplicitous song is about a woman whose boyfriend is cheating on her. She can’t take it anymore so she wants to call him out for cheating. She wants to be careful how far she goes with a guy after she was betrayed. She doesn’t trust anything he says to her because he hurt her. Cheating is a subject that is talked about a lot on songs and it will always remain popular. The subject will never get old as long as people are unfaithful to each other.

Here is some trivia about the song. MC Lyte was only 12 or 13 when she wrote the lyrics to this song. This is an indicator of how good of a rapper she is because she was able to write about something she didn’t know anything about. She wasn’t in love when she wrote the song so it didn’t happen to her personally. She knew how to reach other people with her words. The song has a few samples in it. It features samples from Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star,” Prince’s “17 Days,” Al Green’s “I’m Glad You’re Mine” and Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack.” The songs couldn’t be more different from each other, but it was arranged perfectly to make one fantastic song.

# 8 – Poor Georgie

The dramatic song is from the album Act Like You Know. The song has a hip-hop beat. The touching song is about anti-addiction. She tells the story of a guy named Georgie who has self-destructive behavior. She wanted her fans to know what smoking and drinking could do to you. MC Lyte was inspired to write this song because of what she saw on the streets. She saw people drinking and taking drugs. She was concerned about the people who would be affected by their addictions. She was worried about the people in their lives who had to watch what their actions were doing to them. She wanted to bring awareness to the problem.

We applaud MC Lyte for wanting to talk about addiction. People talk about it, but they don’t always focus on the people addicts hurt with their actions. She was ahead of her time with her lyrics. She discussed topics people didn’t think about rapping about in songs. She wasn’t afraid to take on subjects that will make you think. She wasn’t like other rappers who always boasted about their cars or their bling. She talked about things that make you think. This music will make you get up on the floor and dance. She sampled Toto’s “Georgy Porgy,” The Supremes’ “My World Is Empty Without You,” Michael Jackson’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” The S.O.S Band’s “Just Be Good to Me” as well as other samples. The samples work perfectly for this banger. MC Lyte’s rapping skills are spectacular. She has a great flow and you can rap along with her.

# 7 – Eyes Are the Soul

The socially aware song is from the album Act Like You Know. The song has a hip-hop beat. The eye-opening song is about different social issues. She tells a story about three people who are dealing with personal problems. The first character in the song is dealing with AIDS. He contracted AIDS because he had unprotected sex and was sharing needles with a woman. The second person is addicted to drugs and is wanted by the police. The person addicted to drugs got hooked on them because the mother was addicted to them. The third person is a young black girl who is pregnant and she’s contemplating having an abortion. She wanted to tell these stories so she could bring awareness to these topics.

These topics weren’t discussed that much when she first started rapping. She took a chance covering these topics because songs with messages didn’t do that well on the charts. MC Lyte wanted her listeners to understand and empathize with the people she’s talking about in the song. The characters don’t exist in real life, but she’s talking about people who are going through these situations.

She wanted the characters to be responsible for their own actions. She wanted people to feel sympathy for the teen who considered having an abortion because she didn’t know enough about sex. If she knew more, then she wouldn’t have been in the situation. MC Lyte shows a vulnerable side on this track. She sounds passionate talking about each story. The beat is somber and works with the message she’s conveying in the song. MC Lyte slows her rhymes down for this track. It was a good idea for her to slow down her flow so you can understand every word she says.

# 6 – Cappucino

The cautionary song is from the album Eyes on This. The song has a hip-hop beat. The preventative song is about violence surrounding drugs and alcohol. She talks about being in a café. She gets hit in the crossfire of drug dealers. She meets different people who have died because of alcohol and drugs. Throughout the song, she realizes it’s just a dream. She’s glad to be out of the dream.

She feels the dream is a message about what’s going on in the world. She decides she’s going to drink tea instead of cappuccino. She cleverly uses the title as a metaphor for drugs. As you know, addictions could be dangerous and deadly. We applaud her for bringing awareness to the subject. This song will make you see how dangerous alcohol and drugs could be. She talked about the subject in a way that sets her apart from other artists.

The music for this song sets off the track. She uses the sample for Dennis Edwards’ hit “Don’t Look Any Further.” The song has been sampled for other songs, but this works for the song. The soulful song is a perfect marriage for her deep lyrics. There is someone talking in the background of the track. It might get a little annoying, but it doesn’t hurt the song. MC Lyte brought out the soul in her lyrics.

She commands your attention while she’s rapping about such a meaningful subject. She takes you on a journey and you will be along for the ride. She talks about addiction in a way that will command your attention. She manages to inform the listeners about addiction without coming off too preachy. She wants everyone to know that it’s time to end addiction and she couldn’t be more right about that.

# 5 – Cha Cha Cha

The next song on our Top 10 MC Lyte Songs list is “Cha Cha Cha” from the album Eyes on This. The song has a hip-hop beat. The boastful song is about being in a battle on the microphone. She wants to verbally beat her competition. Anyone who is familiar with rap battles will understand the importance of winning a battle. This song gives MC Lyte a chance to do something different. She does a lot of socially aware songs, but this song gives her a chance to have fun on a track. She proved that all of her songs don’t have to be serious. She can have some fun on a track. You won’t learn anything on this track, but you can get a chance to listen to her battle.

The music is a throwback to the 80s. This track has 80s rap written all over it. You can hear the record scratching in the background the way other old school rap songs had. The song features the Four Tops’ “I Can’t Live Without You,” Kraftwerk’s song “The Man-Machine,” Funkadelic’s song “Good Old Music” as well as other samples. This song was a hit for MC Lyte. Different artists sampled the song. MC Lyte’s rhyming skills are on point.

She sounds confident on this song. She lets her competitors know that they have to compete with her for rap supremacy. She doesn’t talk about violence on this track, but she kills it. She wants her competition to know they can’t outsmart her on the microphone. She manages not to sound arrogant on this track. She is determined to prove she’s the best.

# 4 – Ruffneck

The sexy song is from the album Ain’t No Other. The song has a hip-hop beat. The passionate song is about a man she loves. The song is a tribute to love in the hood. She talks about wanting to be with a man who is a thug. She wants a guy with an attitude and has gold teeth in his mouth. She wants him to be able to please her in the bedroom. If you aren’t familiar with the term “ruffneck,” it refers to people who are thugs in the hood. The term is also used in West Indian cultures.

This track is a tribute to men in the hood. There aren’t too many women who prefer men the way she described in her song. A lot of women talk about wanting a man with money. She wanted to pay homage to the “ruffnecks.” MC Lyte thought it would be a great idea to do a tribute to men in the hood.

The song sounds like something that Wreckx-n-Effect would have recorded. The music sounds like their song “Rump Shaker.” She used a sample from James Brown’s song “The Payback.” The song has been sampled by a lot of artists. James Brown’s song “The Payback” works beautifully for MC Lyte’s song. The music kept her song from sounding like every other love song on the radio.

The classic beat will have you on the dance floor in no time. The song was brilliantly arranged because the beat will hold your attention without taking the focus away from MC Lyte. Speaking of MC Lyte, she does an exquisite job rapping about her “ruffneck” boyfriend. She convinces the listeners that she wants a man from the hood. The rapper did an impressive job rapping about being with the man she loves.

# 3 – Cold Rock a Party (Bad Boy Remix) ft. Missy Elliott

The party song is from the album Bad As I Wanna B. The song has a hip-hop beat. The braggadocios song is about her skills on the microphone. She wants her competition to know that no one can beat her on the microphone. She lets the world know that she’s the best in the rap game. It’s hard to argue with her when she puts out songs like this one. The fans enjoyed this track because it became a hit for the rapping legend. We chose the remix version of this song for our list. She has another version of this song on her album, but we prefer the single version.

Sean P. Diddy Combs produced this version of the song. He did an amazing job with this track. He arranged it perfectly. The song starts as if it’s going to be a ballad, and the beat drops after that. He turned this into a party song. The music is infectious. He loves to make you dance and we’re with him. The song features a sample of Diana Ross’ hit “Upside Down.” He slowed down Diana Ross’ song to make it work with this track.

The music is so catchy it might be hard to focus on her lyrics. MC Lyte and Missy Elliott were a tag team on this track. Missy Elliott wasn’t quite a household name yet, but MC Lyte gave her the chance to shine. They worked well together. MC Lyte’s rhymes were on point as usual. Missy Elliott’s rhymes were great too. She also does the runs in the background. She can sing and rap. This is the type of jam that would be on repeat because it’s an earworm.

# 2 – When in Love

The love anthem appears on the album Act Like You Know. The song has a hip-hop sound. The reflective song is about the things people do when they are in love. People do things they probably wouldn’t do if they weren’t in love. She goes into detail about the things people do when they are in relationships. This track gives MC Lyte a chance to talk about relationships.

She talks about socially conscious issues, but it doesn’t hurt to talk about relationships too. People can always relate to relationships so this subject will never get old. She makes you think about what you would or wouldn’t do if you were in a relationship. Her lyrics make a lot of sense. If you are in love, you will find yourself nodding along to what she says.

The music is energetic and bouncy. The drums dominate the beat. The drums are thumping and will have you moving around in no time. The synthesizer is also used on this song. The song has an old school sound, but it doesn’t sound dated. This is something that could still be played on hip-hop radio stations. MC Lyte sounds like she’s enjoying herself on this track. She doesn’t sound angry at all. She sounds like she’s having fun.

You can’t help smiling while hearing this song. She managed to celebrate love and give you a lesson at the same time. She warns people not to lose themselves while they are in love. Some people tend to change everything about themselves when they fall in love. She doesn’t want anyone to do that.

# 1 – Keep On, Keepin’ On ft. Xscape

The number one song on our Top 10 MC Lyte Songs list is “Keep On, Keepin’ On” from the albums Sunset Park Soundtrack and Bad As I Wanna B. The song has a hip-hop beat. The sensual song is about a woman wanting her man to do what he does to please her. She wants him to do his best to please or she won’t be a happy camper. She wants him to do it right. If you have seen the movie Sunset Park, this song doesn’t really fit in with the movie. You can still enjoy listening to it. This track is better placed on MC Lyte’s album. This is a very seductive song and you can play it if you are with your special someone.

This song features a sample of Michael Jackson’s “Liberian Girl.” Michael Jackson’s song is the perfect sample for this track. The exotic beat makes the song sound sexy and seductive. The music is just as good as the lyrics. It’s time to talk about the lyrics. The lyrics are sexy and it’s a great change for MC Lyte. MC Lyte and Jermaine Dupri created an excellent track together. They wrote the song in a way that is relatable to anyone who has been in love. MC Lyte’s rhyming skills are great.

We can’t express enough how good she sounds on this track. She slows down her rhymes so that she blends in with the beat. Xscape are along for the ride. They sing the chorus on the song. They sound soulful on this song. Their voices are a gift from God. They prove why they were one of the best girl groups of the 90s. They do an amazing job supporting MC Lyte. This song will stay in your head long after it’s done. This song deserved to be a hit for MC Lyte and it deserved the top spot on our list.

Feature Photo: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

Top 10 MC Lyte Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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