Roxanne Shante Says Female Rappers Went "From An Artist To A Commodity"

Roxanne Shante: "We stopped listening with our ears and [started listening] with our eyes instead. That's where the female rapper made herself less important to the Hip Hop industry."

Roxanne Shante says that female rappers have become a commodity in music.

"Being involved in the industry, I understood the shift of a female rapper from an artist to a commodity," Shante says in an interview with Billboard. "It really devastated me because I didn't understand why a female rapper would think she needed to have a male hype man. People always made it seem like I was aggressive with my rhymes, but that's what Hip Hop is. You have to prove that you're the best. It's about your talent and your delivery. But as we went on, we stopped listening with our ears and [started listening] with our eyes instead. That's where the female rapper made herself less important to the Hip Hop industry."

Roxanne Shante's career became a headline item in 2008, when the rapper told the New York Daily News that she earned a Ph.D in Psychology from Cornell University thanks to a contract clause that required her former label, Warner Music, to pay for her education. In 2009, Slate found that Shante's claims about this were false. In the Billboard article published March 18, Shante says she is not remorseful about lying.

"I don't regret any of those decisions either," she says. "In the process of living life after Hip Hop, I allowed for a title to be placed on me and continued to live and represent that title. When everything was all said and done, if anyone was angry or if I caused anyone any problems, I apologized and moved on. At the time, I felt like I didn't do anything negative or put out any negative representation of Hip Hop. I think a lot of people felt I should have walked away and put my head down, but that's not Shante and that's not who I am."

Roxanne Shante says she has more to share. 

"I'm working on the Roxanne Shante story called Please Believe It," she says. "I'm a breast cancer survivor so I've learned to enjoy the finer things in life such as family and friends...The Roxanne Shante story is an open book. Keep reading."

RELATED: Roxanne Shante Admits She Never Got Ph.D, Apologizes



  • son of a sax

    Sweet Tee "On the Smooth Tip" Solve any crime like the great Dick Tracy Make more jazz than the late Count Baise Erythmic sounds flow like Lake Erie Altering any scientifical theroy Another like me? Well I never You know why cause i'm to damn clever Disclaimer (all that was off the top. Didnt Goggle or Wiki ish. That should be evident by a few mispelled words) My comparison to the NBA/WNBA wasnt the physicality of each sport but how ,male domininace overshadows the females. Hiphop is NOT an equal ground for both sexes. Its still about male ego, bragadicio. Its still about hood ish and tough talk. And wnen a woman does ANY of that, its not as convincing as when her counterpart. Thats just a fact!!! With the exception of a few, women have never gotten a fair shake and enjoyed a succeccful career. Not to mention, alot of them start families/raise kids and have to hang up the mic and pick up baby books...(like in the WNBA). So, they really can't win for loosing in this thing called "rap". OH BY THE WAY!!! If you're STILL not convinced about Sweet Tee, go back and listen to "Its My Beat". Considered by many, a hiphop classic.

    • Sensaye Sixkiller

      Listen man...I'm familiar with Sweet Tee. I respect your effort to try to convince me she's a great lyricist, but c'mon son. You gonna post some lyrics by Pebblee-Poo next? or Sharrie B? As far as Hip-Hop being dominated by male ego and women not fitting into that mold, they need to stop trying to fit in that mold. There has always been a market for a female MC to come out with material talking about realistic shit that every day women can relate to, but they never do it. The ones that have tried just to have the lyrical skills to make it interesting. I have a 15 year old Daughter, and I wish there WAS a female MC that I could introduce her to that isn't some skank bitch rappin' about purses and poppin' mollies and shit, but there just isn't, and there has never been, in my opnion.



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  • Anonymous

    preach roxanne true shit

  • Anonymous

    is this the only pic this bitch have? her fuck ass face stading next to the Queensbridge sign? lol

  • So

    Hate if you want but she is right and have a point these famale rapper out here only sell sex and really cant MC

  • Sensaye Sixkiller

    I've never heard a great female MC, ever. I've been listening to Hip-Hop since the 80s. Latifah was dope, but she wasn't no super-lyricist or anything, she was just good. MC Lyte was good when she first came out, but she fell off quick. Shante, Kim, and Fox didn't even write their own shit, so I don't even consider them MCs. Lauryn Hill was good, but it's not like her shit was mind blowing. Even underground and in the streets, I've NEVER heard a great female MC where I was like "Wow, she's got incredible skills". Don't say Jean Grae, that broad is mediocre and boring and you know it. Don't say Rapsody and don't say Nicki Minaj. If they were dudes, you'd be like "Eh..he's alright". There simply has never been one. I thought that nigga Tyga was a girl when I first saw him, and even then I was like "This bitch is kinda weak".

    • Sensaye Sixkiller

      I was listening to Latifah and Lyte when they were in their prime son. I'm not new a new jack. I heard them when they were active, I didn't have to youtube and google them 20 years later. They were never THAT nice. You're just sayin' that 'cause you think you're some Hip-Hop aficionado or something. Have you listened to MC Lyte lately? If she's such a brilliant MC why does everything she dropped after 1992 sound laughably bad? I don't want this to turn into me bashing MC Lyte, because I got mad respect for her. But let's be serious, to say she can outrhyme Kendrick Lamar? I wish I could but I can't even defend my golden age counterparts on that, that's a joke. Lauryn Hill was a pretty good MC, but what does she have, a total of maybe 30 rap songs in her whole career? Most of her shit is R%B. She can rhyme, but she's not no lyrical wizard or nothing. I stand by my original comment, there has NEVER been a GREAT female MC. There has been some good ones, and many wack ones, NEVER a great one. Peace.

    • Anonymous

      all due respect, he's saying he ain't heard that female Nas, Rakim, Monch I can say Eve, Bahamadia, Heather B, Lyte, Boss, Rah Digga but it would be nice to hear what the females say

    • Har-amgedon, G.O.D.

      True indeed. This not the first time this has been brought up and will not be the last time. Black folks have short memories, first of all, Lyte, Latifah and others did earn the respect of their male counterparts and the streets, remember the streets? Lyte most of all. Fyi, I have witness Lyte come off the dome and none of these cats mentioned up there can outflow this chick, she is a true Mc and anybody who thinks different can eat a dick.

    • Anonymous

      All y'all act saying Lyte ain't nothing special or you mus be dumb. Ever heard Lyte come off the dome, fuck outta here. She, at this moment, will outshine 99% of these so-called male rappers. Drake? Tyga? Wayne? Ross? Mills? Kendrick? Keep trying.

    • Anonymous

      Lauren Hill actually is one of the greatest mcs

    • recordpusher

      Dynasty & Dj Premier "Epic Dynasty" Dynasty & Dj Premier "Street Music"

    • Sensaye Sixkiller

      Sax, none of those MCs you named were really anything special. It's not like NBA and WNBA, because that's a physical sport where the Men have an advantage because of muscle strength and natural athleticism. MCing is an even playing field. I understand that it's a male dominated genre but you would think by now at least one or two female would have come along and really cemented themselves as great MC's. Not just decent MCs or 'good for a girl' MCs. lol@ Sweet Tee. Nigga name one dope line Sweet Tee ever said. You're just naming female rappers, none of them that you named were anything extraordinary.

    • rbgwarrior

      The Lady of Rage!

    • donnis mac

      the reality is the females need to get on their job and set up shop for females, like on some unkut or nahright type of internet forums and discuss their own lyricists this way they can avoid the "Nicki Minaj is the only one around" syndrome, speak on what they expect from each other and break new music that's when you'll get those "at home with the baby alone", women's issues artists with the lyrical content, and less "my ass is big, googety goo" strip club rap truth

    • son of a sax

      Lauryn Hill was dope. Lyte was dope. Sweet Tee was dope Rah Digga...Dope. Jean Grae got skills. Tye Phoenix...Dope. Jane Doe, although her time was mad short...Dope. I mean there was alot of females who could carry the weight. Its just hard for them to get any true recognition in a male dominate sport. Its like the NBA and WNBA. Who would you rather watch?!?! But thats nuthin new. Oh yeah...Heather B...DOPE

    • Anonymous

      At one time Shante was the top name in the game male or female

    • Anonymous

      Nigga Simple E, and the Boss, the list go on for real famale Mc

    • insanemacbeth

      kind of COsign. only female emcee who was sikk, was ANTOINETTE; and even she didn't write what she was spittin'!

  • Anonymous

    told y'all before that they're looking for a female macklemore now, not a rapsody, to rock with nicki, it's gonna be up to the community to embrace rapsody and push her up there wait until when that white girl rapper reality show comes on, you'll see what I'm saying

  • Burmy

    So, how long are you gonna keep cursin' the darkness Roxanne? When are you gonna LIGHT A CANDLE (read: put out that sophomore album) and bring the change you wanna see?

    • Burmy

      I meant JUNIOR album...but you get my point.

    • Wikipedia

      The Bitch Is Back is the second and final album released by emcee Roxanne Shant. It was released on October 5, 1992, on Cold Chillin' Records sub-label Livin' Large, was distributed by Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. Records, and featured production by Kool G Rap, Grand Daddy IU, Large Professor, Mister Cee, Trackmasters, and Grandmaster Flash. "Intro" (Produced By Mister Cee) "Deadly Rhymes" - (Featuring Kool G Rap) (Produced By Kool G Rap, Large Professor) "Big Mama" (Produced By Grand Daddy I.U., Kay Cee) "Trick or Treat" (Produced By Kool G Rap) "Gotta be Free" (Produced By Grandmaster Flash) "Oh, Baby, I Like It Raw" (Produced By Eric Moreno) "Dance to This" (Produced By Grand Daddy I.U., Kay Cee) "Yes, Yes, Y'all" (Produced By Mister Cee) "Straight Razor" (Produced By Trackmasters) "Shant Gets Wicked" (Produced By Mister Cee) "Brothers Ain't Shit" (Produced By Kool G Rap, Large Professor)

  • Anonymous

    Keep Lying OLD bitch! All her records were written by Big daddy Kane!

  • Lord giveth

    don't give a fuck what this lying bitch got to say she never had any skills anyway only clicked to hate fuck ya niggas too

  • adillyo

    so fucking true! real mc's like jean grae and rapsody will never have a tenth the fan base of nicki minaj cause they refuse to sell out their sexuality. at the end of the day the true heads know who the real female mc's out there are and if you don't do some research.

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