MC Lyte is widely considered to be one of hip-hop’s first feminists, a title she’s fought hard to claim over the course of a nearly 30-year career. The veteran MC recently sat in on the “Hip-Hop: Women’s Vulnerability and Voices” panel at the White House (November 20), where she agreed with panel moderator Charlene Carruthers that Fetty Wap is a hip-hop feminist. “He may have a very unique way of presenting his ideas, but he does love women,” Lyte argued. “For what he’s up against in this climate with all of the other emcees, he’s taking a stand. He’s being pretty courageous right now with what it is that he presents in his music, because it’s really not the norm.”
While Lyte also had praise for Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Common, and Talib Kweli, she reeled it in for a minute when talking about J. Cole, who she loves, but recognizes that “sometimes he can say something a little out the box.” If we’re being honest, “Role Modelz” isn’t exactly the kind of song I’d denote as feminist, either.
Check out the video above and watch our exclusive interview with Lyte below.