MC Lyte Returns, Charts With 'Dear John' From Next Album

Before Nicki Minaj, before Missy Elliott, there was MC Lyte -- and she's back.

BET Honors MC Lyte With I Am Hip Hop Award

The veteran rapper returned from an 11-year hiatus Tuesday morning (Sept. 9) with the release of "Dear John," the first single from her album expected later this year. The song's release on SoundCloud spurred enough Twitter activity to launch "John" onto the real-time Billboard + Twitter Trending 140, where it reached a high point of No. 3.

The track, which features Common and 10Beats, is an open letter to men, asking, "You wanna be ballas, shot-callers, dippin' in the Benz straight lawless?/ Or, would you rather be fathers to your daughters, even though it's getting harder?"

"John" serves as the official anthem of #EducateOURMen, the scholarship arm of the rapper's Hip Hop Sisters Network. The track will also appear in the Saturday episode of the Centric documentary series Being, which will profile the performer. Immediately after the episode airs, MC Lyte will conduct a live-streamed Q&A with fans.

Dating to the May 1988 arrival of the rapper's debut album Lyte as a Rock, Lyte extends her chart span to more than 26 years. She's scored eight top 10s on the Hot Rap Songs chart, including the No. 1s "Cha Cha Cha," "Poor Georgie," "Ruffneck" and "Cold Rock a Party."

Prior to "John," Lyte last appeared on a Billboard chart in 2003, when her album MC Lyte Is Lytro: Da Undaground Heat Vol. 1 Hosted By Jamie Foxx debuted and peaked at No. 95 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.