Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name



African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Black

Second Advisor

Dr. William J. Cobb


This thesis examines the definition and redefinition of women's images through the music of MC Lyte. My research demonstrates how MC Lyte has emerged from the male-dominated Hip Hop demoralization of women and how MC Lyte uses her music and media to empower young females. This thesis explores the history of Hip Hop and culture, and how MC Lyte has evolved and changed the way women are seen in Hip Hop. The objective of this thesis is to examine MC Lyte and how her music evolved and empowered females in Hip Hop music. This research uses scholarly works of Clenora Hudson Weems (1993). African Womanist, Gwendolyn Pough's (2004) Check it While I Wreck It, as well as the input of Tricia Rose's (1 994) Black Noise Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America. These scholarly works, not only delve into the Hip Hop world, but also the issues that plague women, feminism, and the African- American movement. This thesis analyzes lyrics from MC Lyte as a tool to clearly see the struggles and progressions that women have endured within the Hip Hop culture. It is the intent of the researcher to show how black womanhood has been defined and redefined as it emerges in black Hip Hop music and to appreciate the unity of the black female voice through the music of MC Lyte. This paper shows positive and negative attributes of black women in Hip Hop and how they responded to these attributes. This is important because it expresses how the female artists have found a way to communicate their feeling in regards to how they are viewed by larger society, and its affects. They have chosen to identify themselves with and by their music.

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