“Well, my name is Roxanne, a-don’t ya know
I just a-cold rock a party, and I do this show”
Those are the lyrics to one of my favorite female rap songs, “Roxanne’s Revenge” by Roxane Shante. Most kids that grew up in the 80’s are familiar with the Roxanne battles. Yes, before Lil Kim, Foxxy Brown, and Salt N Pepa, there was Roxanne Shante.
Many have crowned her the first queen of hip hop. It’s amazing she was only 14 years old when she scored her hit, Roxanne’s Revenge.
But what’s most amazing about her story is what happened after her hit single.
Like many young, new artists, she had problems getting paid royalties from her record label and found herself in a financial struggle when her MC career stopped. However, she remembered an unusual clause in her recording contract that said Warner Music would pay for her education for life.
“I’m an example that you can be a teenage mom, come from the projects, and be raised by a single parent, and you can still come out of it a doctor.”
She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Marymount Manhattan College and her Ph.D in psychology from Cornell University which was funded by her record label (after much legal battle). She is currently married with 2 children (the first born when she was 14 years old) and has a practice in Queens.She also owns Hip-Hop Ices ice cream parlor in Queens.
Now, that’s what I truly call Roxanne’s Revenge.