Evolution of MC Lyte

Here's how the rap great turned into a media power player.

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How Lana Became Lyte - Born Lana Michelle Moorer in Brooklyn, New York, MC Lyte made history by becoming the first solo female rapper to release a full studio album in the '80s. Today, she’s an actress, a voiceover talent and brand. Here’s a look at the career and evolution of a tremendous talent — MC Lyte. (Photo: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

MC Lyte on Wax - MC Lyte's first single, ?I Cram to Understand U (Sam)," was released in 1986. The song's social commentary lyrics explored a relationship's end due to crack addiction.  (Photo: PNP/ WENN)

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MC Lyte on Wax - MC Lyte's first single, “I Cram to Understand U (Sam)," was released in 1986. The song's social commentary lyrics explored a relationship's end due to crack addiction. (Photo: PNP/ WENN)

Lyte as a Rock - Artist: MC Lyte Year: 1988MC Lyte's debut album was anything but light. The Brooklyn rapper delivered stellar cuts throughout her project, including her title track, "Paper Thin," and the seminal "10% Dis," which remains as one of the hardest dis tracks in hip hop history. Lyte pulled no punches from day one and kept that going from album to album.(Photo: Atlantic Records)

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Creating a Rock Hit - Lyte’s first album, Lyte as a Rock, contained the hit title track plus "Paper Thin" and “10% Dis,” her response to rapper Antoinette. Each rapper released battle records against each other. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

All Eyes on Lyte - Her follow-up album, 1989?s Eyes on This, had the singles ?Cha Cha Cha? and ?Cappuccino.? The release continued MC Lyte?s foray into uncensored, trailblazing lyrical material.  (Photo: Atlantic Records)

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All Eyes on Lyte - Her follow-up album, 1989’s Eyes on This, had the singles “Cha Cha Cha” and “Cappuccino.” The release continued MC Lyte’s foray into uncensored, trailblazing lyrical material. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

Act Like You Know  - Lyte's third album offered a softer sound than her previous hardcore hip hop albums. "Poor Georgie," a top hit off the album, comes hard with samples from Michael Jackson and The Surpremes. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

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New Jack and Gold - MC Lyte’s third album, Act Like You Know, combined her East Coast hip hop stylings with New Jack Swing beats. The single “Poor Georgie” was the release’s biggest hit. Her fourth album, Ain't No Other, was a gold seller thanks to the hit “Ruffneck.” (Photo: Atlantic Records)

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When Lyte Met Missy - Bad As I Wanna B marked Lyte?s fifth album. It featured production by Jermaine Dupri and Sean Combs plus then up-and-coming rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Missy Elliott. Featuring the singles ?Keep on Keepin? On? and ?Cold Rock a Party,? the album marked Lyte?s second gold seller. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

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When Lyte Met Missy - Bad As I Wanna B marked Lyte’s fifth album. It featured production by Jermaine Dupri and Sean Combs plus then up-and-coming rapper, singer, songwriter and producer Missy Elliott. Featuring the singles “Keep on Keepin’ On” and “Cold Rock a Party,” the album marked Lyte’s second gold seller. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

Changing It Up - Lyte?s 1998 album Seven & Seven didn?t match her previous selling success. The rapper left her record label, East West America, and released The Underground Heat independently. The 2003 album featured Jamie Foxx and the single ?Ride Wit Me? was nominated for a BET Award and Grammy.  (Photo: Atlantic Records)

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Changing It Up - Lyte’s 1998 album Seven & Seven didn’t match her previous selling success. The rapper left her record label, East West America, and released The Underground Heat independently. The 2003 album featured Jamie Foxx and the single “Ride Wit Me” was nominated for a BET Award and Grammy. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

Lyte Becomes a TV Heavy - Having conquered the music world, Lyte spread her wings onto the small screen. She appeared as herself on such television shows as In Living Color, Moesha, New York Undercover and My Wife and Kids. As an actress, she guest starred on Half & Half, In the House and The District.   (Photo: FRANCIS SPECKER /Landov)

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Lyte Becomes a TV Heavy - Having conquered the music world, Lyte spread her wings onto the small screen. She appeared as herself on such television shows as In Living Color, Moesha, New York Undercover and My Wife and Kids. As an actress, she guest starred on Half & Half, In the House and The District.  (Photo: FRANCIS SPECKER /Landov)

A Stage and Film Star Is Born - MC Lyte first appeared as an actress in an off-Broadway play called Club Twelve, the production featured Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill. On the big screen, Lyte starred in such films as Fly by Night, A Luv Tale, Train Ride and Playa?s Ball. (Photo: Dan Steinberg/Getty Images)

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A Stage and Film Star Is Born - MC Lyte first appeared as an actress in an off-Broadway play called Club Twelve, the production featured Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill. On the big screen, Lyte starred in such films as Fly by Night, A Luv Tale, Train Ride and Playa’s Ball. (Photo: Dan Steinberg/Getty Images)

Lyte?s Voiceover Makeover - In 1996, Lyte began her very successful foray into voiceover work. She is now the voice behind such corporate giants as Coca-Cola, McDonald?s and Nike. Lyte also lent her pipes to Mattel Diva Stars ?Chat Doll? Tia and she is the official voice for the annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors broadcast.  (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For BET)

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Lyte’s Voiceover Makeover - In 1996, Lyte began her very successful foray into voiceover work. She is now the voice behind such corporate giants as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike. Lyte also lent her pipes to Mattel Diva Stars “Chat Doll” Tia and she is the official voice for the annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors broadcast. (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images For BET)

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Making Hip Hop History - MC Lyte donated her diary, a turntable, records and other assorted memorabilia from hip hop to the Smithsonian Institution. This collection, as well as several other artifacts, became the program ?Hip-Hop Won?t Stop: The Beat, the Rhymes, the Life,? which documents the genre?s historical relevance. (Photo: Robert Mora/Getty Images)

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Making Hip Hop History - MC Lyte donated her diary, a turntable, records and other assorted memorabilia from hip hop to the Smithsonian Institution. This collection, as well as several other artifacts, became the program “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: The Beat, the Rhymes, the Life,” which documents the genre’s historical relevance. (Photo: Robert Mora/Getty Images)

Creating Rap Superstars - In 2007, Lyte joined the cast of MTV?s Celebrity Rap Superstar and coached Shar Jackson, who became a victorious hip hop emcee in eight weeks. That same year, Lyte also moonlighted on a nationwide House of Blues tour with The Roots.  (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Creating Rap Superstars - In 2007, Lyte joined the cast of MTV’s Celebrity Rap Superstar and coached Shar Jackson, who became a victorious hip hop emcee in eight weeks. That same year, Lyte also moonlighted on a nationwide House of Blues tour with The Roots. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Fashion Forward Lyte - Showing her diversity in the entertainment industry and business savvy for becoming a brand, Lyte opened  a Los Angeles boutique called Shaitel. The shop, which sells everything from belts to sunglasses and carries both vintage and new items, has the goal of bringing New York flavor to California. (Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

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Fashion Forward Lyte - Showing her diversity in the entertainment industry and business savvy for becoming a brand, Lyte opened  a Los Angeles boutique called Shaitel. The shop, which sells everything from belts to sunglasses and carries both vintage and new items, has the goal of bringing New York flavor to California. (Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

Hip Hop Honoree - In 2006, Lyte was one of the rap pioneers honored at VH1?s Hip Hop Honors broadcast. She was joined by fellow female MC?s Da Brat, Remy Ma and Lil? Kim and they all performed some of her biggest hits, including, ?Lyte as a Rock, ?Paper Thin? and ?Ruffneck.? (Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

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Hip Hop Honoree - In 2006, Lyte was one of the rap pioneers honored at VH1’s Hip Hop Honors broadcast. She was joined by fellow female MC’s Da Brat, Remy Ma and Lil’ Kim and they all performed some of her biggest hits, including, “Lyte as a Rock, “Paper Thin” and “Ruffneck.” (Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Madam President Lyte - The rapper is the presiding President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy. MC Lyte is the first African-American to ever hold the office.  (Photo: Koi Sojer, PacificCoastNews.com)

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Madam President Lyte - The rapper is the presiding President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Recording Academy. MC Lyte is the first African-American to ever hold the office. (Photo: Koi Sojer, PacificCoastNews.com)