Act Like You Know

Hip-hop does not have to be hard; it can be sensitive and smooth, as this rap vet proves on her third effort. Act Like You Know finds MC Lyte softening her image without losing her edge. Its first single, ”When in Love,” combines gentle funk and a hummable chorus with the rapper’s reflections on…well, you can figure it out. On my own favorite, ”Eyes Are the Soul,” Lyte slips into a storytelling mode to convey the anguish of her peers who are grappling with AIDS, drug addiction, and the specter of the abortion clinic. Rather than tossing around empty rhetoric, Lyte takes us face-to-face with these people, forcing us to look into their eyes. Elsewhere, she gets in the trenches with a harder microphone attack. ”Search 4 the Lyte” and ”All That,” which boast about (as well as display) her vocal skills, strip down to a fat bass, a sparse drum track, and Lyte’s own mid-tempo, well-enunciated delivery. Her voice, with its lusty confidence, is the glue that holds this diverse collection together. A-

Act Like You Know
  • Music