The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
Kai Chandler Lois Crenshaw Gary Paul Wright Fortunata Kasege Keith Green Lois Bates Greg Braxton Vanessa Austin Bernard Jackson

MC Lyte: Hip-Hop Star and Actress

January 11, 2012

MC Lyte: Hip-Hop Star and Actress

One in a weekly series about the Black AIDS Institute's Greater Than AIDS ambassadors, who are using their VIP status in Black America to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS and HIV testing and treatment.

"We're at a point where we need to ramp it up and talk about HIV even more than we have in the past," says hip-hop pioneer-actress MC Lyte (née Lana Moorer), 39, referring to her renewed charge to galvanize awareness about HIV/AIDS within the African American community.

In 1991 the Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling recording artist released a video for a song called "Eyes of the Soul," with each verse dedicated to a person who had either died from AIDS or was living with the virus. "I can't even tell you that I had lost someone or that I knew of anyone who had lost someone," says Lyte. "I just knew this disease was on its way to causing devastation in the world, but specifically in our communities, and that knowledge just scared the mess out of me." One of the first Black celebrities to do a PSA for AIDS awareness, Lyte always has had her finger on the pulse of the hip-hop community. Even 20 years later, she vows to continue educating young people about the disease.

"Pushing and promoting testing needs to happen much more frequently so that people know that it's just a thing that you do and not a stigmatized circumstance," says Lyte, who was featured in the 2010 BET documentary My Mic Sounds Nice: A True Story of Women and Hip Hop, now available on DVD. She currently hosts a weekend radio show on SiriusXM Radio. Soon she will be launching her own signature line of home decor, "The Lana Moorer Collection" by MC Lyte, and has self-published a book of poetry and inspirational messages, Just My Take, targeted to today's hip-hop generation. "When we talk about HIV more and we talk about testing more, it just becomes a part of our lives. Yeah."

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, author and documentary filmmaker.

More From This Resource Center

Magic Johnson Wants You to Know: He Isn't Cured of HIV

Living With HIV? African Americans Share Their Advice

This article was provided by The Black AIDS Institute. It is a part of the publication Black AIDS Weekly. Visit Black AIDS Institute's website to find out more about their activities and publications.

See Also
More on Dance, Music and HIV/AIDS

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our advertising policy.