The Walker Art Center's annual benefit and party, Avant Garden, returns Sept. 21 with hip-hop icon MC Lyte as special guest DJ.

Hip-hop royalty, MC Lyte is the first female to perform hip-hop in the White House and first African-American female to serve as the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the Recording Academy (Grammy organization). A current member of the Board of Trustees of Dillard University, the Brooklyn rapper-turned-DJ has had an extensive and illustrious career. Her first LP, “Lyte as a Rock,” released in 1988, was an immediate smash firmly placing her on the hip-hop map with the breakout hit, “Paper Thin.” Lyte’s follow-up LP, “Eyes on This,” brought further acclaim with the hits “Cha, Cha, Cha,” “Cappucino” and “Stop, Look, Listen.” It was Lyte’s fourth LP, 1993’s “Ain’t No Other” that earned her biggest commercial hit, “Ruffneck.” Later collaborations with Xscape (“Keep on Keepin’ on”) and Brandy (“Wanna Be Down”) further endeared her with both hip-hop and R&B audiences.

MC Lyte is the first rap artist to perform at New York's historic Carnegie Hall, the first female rapper to receive a gold single, the first female solo rapper nominated for a Grammy; and in 2006, MC Lyte became the first solo female rapper to be honored and inducted on “VH1's Hip-Hop Honors.”

MC Lyte is also the author of "Living in the Lyte: Lessons in Life, Love and Truth" and "Fusion: Bridging the Gap between the Civil Rights Movement and Hip-Hop," a book she co-authored with NNPA president and CEO, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr.

International stars, Minneapolis-born twins, Coco & Breezy will also DJ. DJs and designers, the two became a global force, having designed eyewear worn by Prince, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj and Quavo. The twins have forged brand partnerships with American Express, H&M, Moet, Armani, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and more.

Following the release of the 2018 single "Differences," 2019 is off to a fast start for Ringing Bells, with a guest mix on Diplo's Revolution on Sirius XM.

Tickets for Avant Garden at the Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Pl., are $125 and are on sale online at www.walkerart.org/calendar/2019/avant-garden-2019 or by calling (612)-375-7641.

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