mc lyte*The artist known as MC Lyte has been a luminary figure in Hip-Hop for well over 20 years.

For 10 of those years she was considered the best female emcee in the game, but for the past decade or so Lyte has made it her life mission to legitimize that which has seemingly become bastardized.

That being Hip-Hop culture in its purest form.  It is to that end that a full-tuition, First Wave scholarship has been named for the legendary pioneer for women in Hip-Hop. This partnership will enhance the recruitment of the seventh cohort of the First Wave Learning Community, which launched in 2007 and currently has 65 scholars pursuing degrees in topics from theater & drama to science. was invited down to Rush Communications’ main office to press conference announcing the groundbreaking event.  As Founder and CEO of the Hip Hop Sisters Network MC Lyte, in conjunction with advisory board members Russell Simmons, Melanie Fiona, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Salt, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Damon A. Williams, and HHSF President Lynn Richardson, have announced the $100,000 hip-hop scholarship partnership that will enable one college-bound student to pursue a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It’s being called the MC Lyte/First Wave scholarship and it’s the only scholarship of its kind that we are aware of in that part of its requirements are that the recipient demonstrate mastery of one of the 5 pillars of Hip-Hop while being a B average student in the classroom.  If you are, or no of, a high school senior who has demonstrated mastery in Hip-Hop, in addition to scholastic mastery, then you might want to give them the heads up.

The deadline is October 1, 2012 and the winner will be announced by MC Lyte and HHSF in collaboration with this year’s Soul Train Music Awards.  Check out our video footage of the press conference below.