ThaWilsonBlock Magazine Issue56

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: Roxanne Shanté (1984)


Roxanne Shanté (born Lolita Shanté Gooden; November 9, 1969) is an American hip hop musician. Born and raised in the Queensbridge Projects of Queens, New York City, Shanté first gained attention through the Roxanne Wars and was part of the Juice Crew.

Roxanne Shanté was brought up in Queens, New York. She started rapping at the age of thirteen. In 1984 the young rapper ran into Tyrone Williams, DJ Mr. Magic, and record producer Marley Marl outside the Queensbridge housing project. The three of them were discussing U.T.F.O. since the rap trio had failed to make an appearance at a concert. U.T.F.O. had recently released a single called "Hanging out". The single did not get a lot of critical acclaim, however the B-Side featured the song "Roxanne, Roxanne", a song about a woman who would not respond to their advances, became a hit. Shanté, who was a member of the Juice Crew, walked right up to them and offered to write a track to get back at U.T.F.O., posing as the Roxanne in the U.T.F.O. song. They liked her idea and Marley produced the song "Roxanne's Revenge" using the original beats from an instrumental version of "Roxanne, Roxanne". At that time her Queens-based crew was in a battle with KRS-One's Bronx-based crew, because both of the crews claimed that their district was the true home of hip hop. The track became an instant hit and Shanté, only 14 years old at the time, one of the first female MCs to become very popular. Following this, the "Roxanne Wars" started, and Shanté continued to rap and started touring.

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