How MC Lyte's Tech-Infused Music Journey Fueled A Passion For Black Girls In Tech

December 1, 2023

Hip Hop icon MC Lyte wants to help Black girls code.

MC Lyte, known for records including “Ruffneck” and “Paper Thin,” has a deep appreciation for the sector of technology as it has played a major role in the production of her music. She specifically highlights its role in the making of her first album “Lyte as a Rock.”

“Well every bit of recording for my musical projects were done with the aid of technology,” MC Lyte told AFROTECH. “Most of my first album was done using a Tascam Drum machine. We definitely explored new technology with drum machines, programmers, and sequencers. We experimented with echo chambers, modules, and gates. It’s always been exciting to hit the studio and learn about what’s new to tinker with.”

She once again is intersecting technology with music through a new partnership with Black Girls Code, joining as a celebrity judge alongside music producer Craig King, Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Bosko Kante, and Rock the Bells President James Cuthbert, among others in their newest nationwide initiative “Build a Beat Challenge with Ciara.”

As AFROTECH previously reported, contestants will be challenged to code their own songs using Infosys Foundation USA’s Pathfinders Online Institute, and if they are deemed a winner, they will be able to video call Grammy Award-winning artist Ciara.

“The kids of this generation are bubbling with lots of new ideas. This challenge will awaken the creativity of those who love coding and who are inspired to make music,” MC Lyte explained.

Black Girls Code CEO Cristina Jones told AFROTECH, “I am a huge MC Lyte fan. Again, what we really wanted to do was when you look across all of the judges is we’re very intentional with who we’re picking, like people including James Cuthbert, who’s the president of Rock the Bells, who are 100% laser-focused on helping ensure that our communities have access to opportunity.”

Jones, who took on her post at Black Girls Code in October 2023, is steadfast in building on the legacy of the nonprofit organization.

“Here at Black Girls Code, we want to meet the girls where they are,” Jones expressed. “When you think about the numbers, we have only 3% of Black women in these tech roles. It’s clear that they’re not seeing themselves in this space. There is not enough representation for them in this space. So we decided that we’re going to start meeting them where they are, and we are going to start showing them that technology is fun and it can be a catalyst in helping them work in areas that they love like gaming, film, sports, and of course music.”

To join the contest, click here. Applications will closed on Dec. 31, 2023, and finalists will be notified via email on Feb. 16, 2024.


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