RIAA Honors: Pioneers of Hip-Hop to honor Grandmaster Flash, MC Lyte

DJ Jazzy Jeff and Rapsody will be among the performers at the Sept. 14 event in Washington, D.C.

Grandmaster Flash and MC Lyte are among those who will be celebrated at the Recording Industry Association of America’s forthcoming event, RIAA Honors: Pioneers of Hip-Hop. The honors will take place on Sept. 14 in Washington, D.C.

The legends will be honored for their contributions to hip-hop culture as pioneers, according to Billboard.

Also selected to receive recognition at the RIAA Honors will be Universal Music Group’s executive VP of business & legal affairs, Jeff Harleston, a label honoree, and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a policymaker honoree who chairs the House Democratic Caucus.

MC Lyte, the first female rapper to have a gold-certified single and the first female rapper to earn a Grammy Award nomination, will be honored as a hip-hop pioneer at the Recording Industry Association of America’s event this month. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence)

Taking place at the RIAA new headquarters in the nation’s capital, the RIAA Honors will include performances by DJ Jazzy Jeff, Mix Master Mike, and Rapsody. Dr. Dre and Missy Elliott will be virtual presenters, while DJ Kool and YoYo will be in-person presenters.

“At this year’s RIAA Honors, we are thrilled to celebrate pioneers who have defied obstacles, defined a genre and accelerated the growth of hip-hop to audiences across generations and geography,” RIAA CEO Mitch Glazier said in a statement.

“Congratulations and thank you, Grandmaster Flash, MC Lyte, Jeff Harleston and chairman Hakeem Jeffries for your contributions to this diverse musical landscape and setting the stage for creators to come.”

Grandmaster Flash is one of the most influential DJs in hip-hop history, transforming the turntable from a mere record player into a musical instrument. He and his group, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, were the first hip-hop group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MC Lyte helped pave the way for other women in hip-hop. During a career of 10 released albums, she was the first female rapper ever to have a gold-certified single and was the first female rapper to earn a Grammy Award nomination.

Harleston has had a 25-year tenure with Universal Music Group. He founded the Universal/Motown Fund endowment that provides financial assistance to artists who performed in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He is currently co-chair of the Task Force for Meaningful Change, UMG’s social justice initiative.

Jeffries was crucial in helping craft the industry-related Music Modernization Act and Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act.

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