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Roxanne Shanté: Who Needs a Royalty Check
October 22, 2007 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Roxanne Shanté may be the only person whose Wikipedia entry lists her occupation, truthfully, as "rapper, psychologist." In the credits for the Beef 3 DVD she explains how her record contract's throwaway education clause paid for her to get her PhD. She also shares the backstory of Roxanne's Revenge. Some more classic Shanté: with a skinny Biz Markie in 1986, BDP vs. Juice Crew, an old Wack It video. [via]
posted by jessamyn (33 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good on her!
posted by oats at 9:13 PM on October 22, 2007


"I socked it to them for over 175,000 dollars worth of education."

I can't stop smiling. That is such a great story!
posted by mediareport at 9:24 PM on October 22, 2007


I grew up in Brooklyn and Roxanne Shante and The Real Roxanne's battles were legend!

I'm forwarding this link to EVERYONE!
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 9:27 PM on October 22, 2007


Holy shit. That is awesome.
posted by killdevil at 9:28 PM on October 22, 2007


Wait, so this is not the REAL Roxanne?

(no disrespect, just want to keep the pot stirred)
posted by mwhybark at 9:34 PM on October 22, 2007


wow, i never knew that story. that makes my day.
posted by jcruelty at 9:35 PM on October 22, 2007


Wow. I haven't listened to nor thought about UTFO in like 25+ years. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I can still remember breakdancing to Roxanne at summer camp in the early '80s.
posted by shoepal at 9:40 PM on October 22, 2007


A heart-warming tale of someone screwing over their record company. Makes a nice change from the way that usually goes.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:41 PM on October 22, 2007


Fantastic!
posted by Wolof at 9:44 PM on October 22, 2007


Not only a fabulous story of stickin' it to the man, it is a great story of someone who rose above all the expectations to make something of themselves. More then a few currently famous young 'uns should take notice.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:49 PM on October 22, 2007


Boy, this story made my day. Damn.

He said, "You call yourself an MC?" I said, "This is true."
He said, "Explain to me really what MCs must do."
I said, "Listen very close 'cause I don't say this every day:
My name is Roxanne, and they call me Shanté."

posted by blucevalo at 9:56 PM on October 22, 2007


It's kind of amazing how much less fluid rappers were back then.
posted by delmoi at 9:59 PM on October 22, 2007


I knew she was was a therapist, but I didn't know she had a PhD, and I sure didn't know she got it on the back of her record contract! Way to go, Roxanne!
posted by YoungAmerican at 10:02 PM on October 22, 2007


What a great story. I remember seeing Whack It on MTV raps, and deciding that Whack It would not be included in the borrowed hip-hop slang I would use at school the next day.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 10:11 PM on October 22, 2007


Amazing! Good for her!
posted by misozaki at 10:35 PM on October 22, 2007


Wonderful story, thanks!
posted by amyms at 10:57 PM on October 22, 2007


Fantastic! Wonderful!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:13 PM on October 22, 2007


It's kind of amazing how much less fluid rappers were back then.

Well, yeah, you know, you're right, at least in the case of that linked clip with Biz Markie. I love the old school beatboxing he was doing, the nice slow tempo, but Roxanne wasn't all that great that night, at least on evidence of that clip. Her delivery was kinda stiff, wasn't it? Still, rap was young, and the partiers in the place to be were having a damn good time, and that's what so much of it was about anyway!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:19 PM on October 22, 2007


Those Beef DVD's are great -- though I'm pretty sure that the story of the Roxanne beefs came from Beef 2 rather than Beef 3 because I haven't seen Beef 3 and I have seen this.

OK. Beef 3 is all very recent Beef. This is from Beef 2.

Joe Bob says, 'Check it out'.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:31 AM on October 23, 2007


I wonder how many other rappers have something like this in their contracts? They COULD set a good example for once and say I'm going to college. Probably a good percentage of kids would be turned on to education instead of a "Thug life".
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:35 AM on October 23, 2007


Good for her, but sad in a way. I'll bet that was the last education clause ever signed in the entertainment business.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 5:42 AM on October 23, 2007


I'm glad people liked it. I first learned about Roxanne Shanté in college when my ethnomusicologist hiphop loving friend (in the via link) gave me a mixtape with MC Lyte's classic diss "Steady Fucking" on it that takes that KRS One "Roxanne Shanté is only good for steady fucking" line and turns it into the chorus repeated over and over as MC Lyte just goes OFF. Needless to say, I couldn't find that song online, but here are the lyrics. At the time I was like "wtf, who?"
posted by jessamyn at 6:36 AM on October 23, 2007


Anyone know where the ice cream parlor is?
posted by iamck at 7:09 AM on October 23, 2007


My heart is aflutter. I love rapfilter, and this is awesome. Wow, I had no clue. And Cornell too. And she has a practice! I want to get treated by Roxanne Shante.
posted by cashman at 7:11 AM on October 23, 2007


Funny, I just revisited "Whack It". I'd never paid much attention to the lyrics back in junior school - but she's totally taking the mickey out of the crossover stuff that other female rappers like JJ Fadd and Salt'n'Pepa were
dealing in at the time! Somehow this flew over the head of my 14-year-old self.
posted by tantrumthecat at 7:20 AM on October 23, 2007


ROXANNE ROXANNE!

That is so cool, thanks Jess.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:02 AM on October 23, 2007


Me, the Rox,
give up the box?
So you can brag about it for the next six blocks?
Shee, ya must be crazy.
You goin' too fast.
Doctor I don't know where your hands been last!

I remember introducing UTFO and Roxanne to some of the whitest people on the whole planet in grade school, thanks for the great links!
posted by vito90 at 8:48 AM on October 23, 2007


This post is amazing, but I just want to be clear. Hip Hop did not start in Queens, and Shan was making shit up. I still love the Juice Crew, but he was completely wrong.
posted by shmegegge at 8:52 AM on October 23, 2007


Great post, jessamyn. In junior high I had the UTFO album and, for some reason (because she later turned out to be my antithesis), my sister had the Roxanne album. I'm pretty sure I later stole it from her.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:04 AM on October 23, 2007


Aren't most PhD's fully funded anyway?
posted by decoherence at 10:20 AM on October 23, 2007


Aren't most PhD's fully funded anyway?

Some are, some aren't. The label paid for her undergrad education as well, which is rarely fully funded.
posted by jessamyn at 10:30 AM on October 23, 2007


MTV's Rapper of the Year Lil' Wyane a.k.a. Weezy (much ballyhooed in Mefi's last recent rapfilter enrolled in Texas University and majoring in the same thing as it were.
posted by Student of Man at 12:51 PM on October 23, 2007


Texas University? I think you're thinking of California University, where the kids from Beverly Hills 90210 matriculated. Lil' Wayne is at the University of Houston.
posted by box at 2:20 PM on October 23, 2007


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