Album: Lyte as a Rock

Brooklyn-born Lana Michele Moorer aka MC Lyte is one of the greatest rappers of any gender in hip-hop history. Her debut album, Lyte as a Rock, was released in one of hip-hop's golden years, and took its place alongside classics by Public Enemy, Slick Rick, Eric B & Rakim, BDP, and N.W.A. Aside from the battle rap "10% Dis," the album's standout track was this song, in which Lyte puts a two-timing loverboy in check: "When you say you love me, it doesn't matter/It goes to my head as just chit-chatter." Lyte's philosophy of dating set her apart from the oversexed personas of so many female rappers whose lyrics were often penned by male artists/boyfriends. "Now I take precaution when choosing my mate / I do not touch until the third or fourth date / Then maybe we'll kiss on the fifth or sixth..." Unconcerned with inflaming her listeners' sexual urges, Lyte was always confident that her lyrics were more than enough. —Rob Kenner