On April 2 – the evening before the Grammy Awards – MC Lyte and John Legend were honored at the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective ceremony, held at the Conrad Hotel in Las Vegas.
Lyte was presented an award by the up-and-coming Saweetie, for her role as a pioneer in hip-hop and a disrupter in the music industry. She gained widespread acclaim in the late 80s with her album Lyte as a Rock, making her the first female rapper to release a solo project.
Upon receiving her award, Lyte spoke about the importance of the women in her still-growing music genre, as well as the inequities that many creatives of color have faced – and still do today – while pursuing their dream.
“There’s no conversation about the past, present, and future of hip-hop without women,” Lyte said. “The playing ground has not been level, but I’m proud of the progress we made. Despite the continued injustice and inequality in our industry and society at large, there’s no better time to be a Black creator than now.”
Legend was the recipient of the Global Impact Award, and after going on stage to speak, the award-winning musician noted how pivotal Black music has been to his life, as well as its influence on the rest of the world.
“Black music is and has been the rhythm, the root, the inspiration, the innovation behind so much of the world’s popular music,” Legend stated. “It doesn’t exist without us.
The evening featured performances from Chlöe Bailey, Summer Walker, Muni Long, Cordae and Jimmie Allen. Alongside MC Lyte and John Legend, DJ D-Nice and the Atlanta-based record label LVRN (Love Renaissance) were also celebrated.
Take a look at some of the celebrities, entertainers and music moguls that attended the Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective ceremony this past weekend, as well as some of its notable moments.