Veteran female rapper MC Lyte stopped by this year’s “VH1 Divas Salute the Troops,” where Young Money star Nicki Minaj rocked the stage over the weekend. VH1 asked Lyte to weigh in on hip-hop’s newest starlet from a historical perspective.
“I look at her as a culmination of all of the female hip-hop MCs that are and were, with her spice all on top of it,” Lyte said. “She’s uniquely different for this time because she’s totally equipped business-wise. She understands what it is to be different in your approach. I love it. When I listen to her I feel like I’m on a voyage, you never know exactly where she’s going to end up.”
When asked who Nicki may have used as an example in crafting her style, Lyte mentioned a certain Virginia native.
“When I think of style, I’d like to think of Missy because when I first heard Missy and all those little noises she would make, I’d be like, ‘What the hell? Wow, I want to learn how to do that,’ ” Lyte said. “And now it feels like Nicki on steroids. She’s thoroughly entertaining.”
Of course, no hip-hop interview would be complete without the inevitable Nicki vs. Lil’ Kim question but Lyte had a surprising response.
“I could easily say that it’s unfortunate but I’ve had my dis wars and battles back in the days; I battled Antoinette,” Lyte recalled. “I think, literally, the difference between us was I had a couple of records out before [Antoinette] and made a couple of fans before she did, that was the only thing that separated us in terms of who was going to win the battle.
“With regards to Nicki and Kim, right now, there’s room for everyone,” she continued. “Those who really need to be worried by Nicki’s record is Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Nelly Furtado … Nicki is coming out to win … and she’s not thinking of the block or the city so she’s more able to handle what it takes right now to be an international star.”
Lyte said that there’s no real reason for the war of words between Kim and Nicki other than the competitive spirit.
“It’s what an MC thrives on, and you cannot tell me that a female MC listening to them doesn’t want to spit a verse themselves, because it’s that competitive nature that hip-hop brings,” Lyte smiled. “It’s the art, people love to do it.”
What do think of MC Lyte’s take on the Nicki vs. Kim debate? Tell us in the comments!