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RIAA Honors Grandmaster Flash and MC Lyte



Mc Lyte
Image: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

As of late, it is more commonplace to see significant institutions honor the cultural impact of hip-hop. Recent months even saw the prestigious Smithsonian Institute celebrate the genre. Likewise, more award shows bestow hip-hop artists with lifetime achievement awards.

Hip-Hop’s Ascendance 

The genre’s push into mainstream cultural dominance is now more outwardly apparent than ever. Anecdotally, finding a person who doesn’t listen to rap seems more complex and challenging. As previously reported, hip-hop’s cultural dominance goes well beyond the scope of the United States. Indeed the genre’s popularity and pop cultural domination are undeniable. There is no genre of music as popular.

RIAA’s Honorees

Even so, the previously mentioned examples are not the only ones. The RIAA, Recording Industry Association of America, announced its plans to honor unsung hip-hop legends Grandmaster Flash and MC Lyte at an upcoming event. The RIAA stated the honoring was for “celebrate[ing] pioneers who have defied obstacles…and accelerated the growth of hip-hop…”. The dinner also plans to keep Jeff Harleston of UMG and Democratic House Member Hakeem Jeffries. Both are honored for their contribution to a diverse musical landscape.  

The night’s festivities consist of other famed acts honoring their iconic peers. The award presenter includes Dr. Dre, Missy Eliott, DJ Kool, and Yo-Yo. A planned performance featuring Rapsody, Mix Master Mike, and Fresh Prince collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff. With this impressive cavalcade of entertainers from the golden age of hip-hop, the night will serve as a fitting homage to the beloved genre.

Why It’s Important

Some of the names might be unfamiliar to younger fans, however, that does not mean their contribution should be ignored. On the contrary, all the names listed above served to help the proliferation of hip-hop and helped it become the domineering music of America that it is today. This cannot be forgotten; nights like this are designed to ensure their contributions are not erased.

Ryan Fields


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