MC Lyte – Eyes On This

mc-lyte-eyes-on-this-back-n-the-day-buffetMC Lyte released her second studio album “Eyes On This” on October 3, 1989.  The album was produced by Audio Two, Grand Puba, The King of Chill, Marley Marl, Nat Robinson, and PMD.  The album was released on First Priority Records.

When I first heard “Lyte As A Rock“, I knew MC Lyte would be making tons of records and bringing some serious dope tracks.  So when her second album dropped, I had already heard “Cha Cha Cha” and I thought at the time as it being her greatest single!  So when I put the cassette in the boom box, I was not dissapointed.

The track samples a couple of dope tracks but the main track is “Rockin It” by The Fearless Four.  It gives you that old school Hip Hop feel and makes us go listen to the original.  As for the “original”, “Rockin It” has a crazy sample of Craftwerk’sThe Man Machine” that other Hip Hop artists have used in the past.  The track also samples “Rocket in the Pocket” by Cerrone, “I Can’t Live Without You” by The Four Tops and “Good Old Music” by Funkadelic.  King of Chill produced one of MC Lyte’s greatest hits!

You can cha-cha-cha to this Mardis Gras
I’m the dopest female that you’ve heard thus far
And I do get better, the voice gets wetter
Nobody gets hurt (as long as you let her)
Do my thing with an ’89 swing
The dopeness I write, I guarantee delight
To the hip-hop maniac, the Uptown brainiac
In full effect, MC Lyte is back
And better than before as if that was possible
My competition, you’ll find them in the hospital
Visiting time, I think it’s on a Sunday
But notice they only get one day to shine
The rest of the week is mine
And I’ll blind you with the science that the others have yet to find
So come along and I’ll lead you the right way
Just clap your hands to the words I say, come on…

Slave 2 The Rhythm” (produced by PMD) was the second track on this dope album, and it’s another hype track!  Taking the bass line from “Can I Get Some Help” by James Brown, MC Lyte goes for the jugular and rips it up like this:

I’m not a procrastinator, or a instigator
But when it comes to dope rhymes on the mic, I’m the creator
I never look for trouble, but somehow it finds me
But yo, I just conquer it, and leave it all behind me
The L-y-t-e, very outspoken
And when I rock a rhyme, sometimes I leave you chokin
I’m the MC Lyte, comin live and direct
I never lose a battle, cause I always come correct
In any case I win, again and again
You see Lyte is at the top till the very end
And even though I may be short, believe, I don’t take none
Try your luck and we’ll see who will get done
I mean immediately, like quick fast
Don’t turn your back, cause this mic’ll be in your ass
And don’t take what I say too lightly
I beat you, defeat you so quietly
Sneak up and hit you like a fuckin tornado
Cause in the rap field Lyte’s the fuckin a/k/a doe
The capital L, the y to the e
Shit, give me room and I’ll slay an MC
Whether it’s in a crowd, or on the sneak tip
I wax you and your posse watch you trip and flip
As you drop the mic, cause you don’t have the gift
To rip a style, fast or slow
(Why, Lyte?) Too busy hoein it, sniffin up blow
Don’t get mad, it’s just a talent I was given
What I’m sayin, I’m a slave to the rhythm

Cappucino” was another anti-drug track that warned kids to stay away from “cappucino” which in this case is a metaphor for drugs.   The track was produced by Marley Marl and uses a BlackbyrdsSpaced Out” sample.  It’s nice to see that artists like Lyte was conscious of what was going on in the hood and tried to set a good example.

Bust it, to some of you that really don’t know
I break it down to you, the word ‘Cappucino’
It’s somewhat like coffee, then again not quite
It’s creamy and smooth, and it goes down light
They charge you 3 dollars, you ask is it worth it?
But when you start drinkin’ shit, it’d be workin’
I’m hooked, well, I was, cause, yo, it’s the best
But if every time I drink I voyage through death
I leave it alone and just stick to tea
Cappucino was fly, but too fly for me

The other gem in this album (besides “Cha Cha Cha”) is “Stop, Look, Listen” produced by The King of Chill and sample the first second of “Born to Lose You” by Ecstacy, Passion and Pain.  That one second makes all the difference and makes this one of the funkiest tracks on the album!  As for the rhymes…I don’t even have to explain!

I’m rhymin and designin, also creatin
The dope def rhyme that is always being taken
By a sucker MC that wants to be like me
No trait of originality
But yo, I am not one to down another
So like I said before, just go for yours, sucker
I’m gonna take the time to drop a dope line
Or maybe even two, for you and your crew
So you can start shakin and movin all around
To the Lyte Thee MC and the King Of Chill sound
It’s new and improved like a freshly cut diamond
Perfect timin, like a gem it’s shinin
Or better yet a ruby, somewhat like a saphire
This jam you are forced to admire

No MC Lyte album would be complete without a diss track!  She finishes her Antoinette beef by giving us the other 90% of her diss!  On “Shut The Eff Up (Hoe)“, MC Lyte flows over a “Cordova” bass line (by The Meters) and goes after this chick hard, to the point she never answered back!  Anyone who is a MC Lyte fan, loves and looks forward to her diss record!

Before this jam starts I’m simply stating
You have all waited, now you can stop waiting
Shall I ease into the disses, go 20, then 30
Or shall I got straight to 80 percent?
Aw, it doesn’t matter, when you’re dissed, you’re dissed
The party’s not over, it’s just beginning
Because Lyte is winning (What are you winning?)
Any battle in any competition
‘The Gangstress’? Ha, you’re on a wack journey
(Ho) Headed for nowhere, with time to spare
So I’ma kick this rhyme right now and right here
I’d tell your name, but that would give you fame
And I ain’t out to give you what you don’t have
So I sit back and relax, cause it makes me laugh
I could diss, call you names and make fun of you
(Ho) But me the Lyte, I’m into speakin the truth
Like a watchtower, hour by the hour
Lyte is rhymin, perfect timin
Milk keeps the beat (I keep the beat)
With the tap of his feet (With the tap of my feet)
When he count it down (When I count it down
6-7-8) Lyte’ll start the debate

Grand Puba produces the dope “I Am The Lyte” and once you get to this track, you know that this lady mc had hit a bull’s eye!  In my opinion, this is her best album in her catalog!  The only thing that this album is missing is “I’m Not Havin’ It” which was missing from the last album and was included in a First Priority compilation album. The album is a gem on it’s own and is a major factor on why the golden age of Hip Hop was so memorable.  We salute you MC Lyte!

-Al E.

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