Who is the most feminist hip-hop artist today? Is it even possible to be a hip-hop feminist?
These questions were raised during the "Hip-Hop: Women’s Vulnerability And Values” roundtable discussion at The White House Council’s Women And Girls summit and MC Lyte, an iconic rapper herself, had some answers.
"I think you can [be a hip-hop feminist],” she said. "At this point in time, it probably is Fetty Wap. He may have a very unique way of presenting his ideas, but he does love women. For what he’s up against in this climate, with all of the other MCs, he’s taking a stand. He’s being pretty courageous right now in what he represents in his music. It’s really not the norm."
Lyte -- who entered the game in the late ‘80s with songs like “I Am A Woman” and “Lyte As A Rock” -- said other rappers can also be considered feminist MCs.
"There’s, of course, Kendrick," she said, "and there’s Big Sean. He raps about his grandma. Any man that raps about his grandma, you gotta show some love to. And then, of course, there’s Common and Talib."
When J. Cole was brought up in the convo, Lyte had a different take on him.
"Well, J. Cole, yes,” she said. "I love him. Sometimes he can say a little something out the box which makes me go, ‘Don’t do that. You was on a good roll.'"
The MCs mentioned by Lyte are "on the forefront of what could be a great change in hip-hop if we show them the love and let them know that they're heading in the right direction," Lyte added.
If you need a refresher or an introduction to MC Lyte's most celebrated work, here's a stream of The Very Best Of MC Lyte: