MC Lyte on hosting 2023 Harlem Festival of Culture: I intend to have just as much of a good time as attendees

Not only is MC Lyte known for her iconic rap career, these days she’s synonymous with many other entertainment ventures. 

For her next gig, she’ll host all three days of the Harlem Festival of Culture. She chatted with ABC Audio about how excited she is for the music and arts event. 

“I intend to have just as much of a good time as all of the attendees,” Lyte said, adding, “I’m excited.”

The “Ruff Neck” rapper recalled a recent conversation explaining that, while originally from Brooklyn, Harlem played a role in her upbringing, as well.  

“I’ve got ties to all boroughs for all different reasons,” she said. “With Harlem, I spent a lot of summers and weekends there, at my grandmother’s house on 138th and Amsterdam, right across the street from City College. As a matter of fact, I learned how to run down those steps in record time, following my bigger cousins.”

Harlem’s also where she first heard of hip-hop. She credits pioneers like “The Cold CrushFunky Four Plus OneThe Treacherous Three and Melle Mel” with her introduction to the genre.

“To be able to come back full circle and also have R&B be a prominent feature throughout this year’s festival” is a treat, she said. 

The Grammy winner also joked about “who else” might be “fitting for the occasion” other than herself. 

Regarding the festival’s roster of “unbelievable talent” of past and present hip-hop greats like Doug E. FreshCam’ronFat Joe and Remy Ma, Lyte promised the event and its celebration of 50 years of hip-hop will be a “show like none other.”

Fans can join MC Lyte at the 2023 Harlem Festival of Culture on Randall’s Island July 28-30.

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