The culture has grown.
The '90s were not that long ago, but things have advanced in a major way for hip-hop culture since then. Imagine, Presidents Bush and Clinton in the '90s rallied against rap while Presidents Obama and Trump have gone out of their way for rap endorsements. Legendary lyricist MC Lyte gave her perspective of the changes hip-hop has gone through in an interview with PageSix. Most notably, Lyte touches on the freedoms women have in their music now compared to back when she was at the height of the commercial game.
“Some things you hear now, you would’ve never heard back then,” Lyte explained. “There are women who have been here before and paved that trail for the next female MC to come out and be comfortable being wild.”
“I’m sure if you talk to any female MC from my day, we all wanted to say something crazy,” Lyte continued. “For us, we had to do a lot of holding back. Holding back because it just wasn’t proper to say, or holding back because it would be beyond anyone else’s belief that that would be in our vocabulary.” That sounds about right. There weren't many Lil Kim or Nicki Minaj-esque lyrics coming from females in the late 80s and early 90s.
Lyte enjoys how today’s female rappers can, “say exactly what it is they want to say and dress exactly how they want to dress,” while adding that freedom “comes with responsibility.” Check out the full interview here.