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.”

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