New York, NY – Juice Crew alum Roxanne Shanté was responsible for what was one of the first diss tracks on wax, “Roxanne’s Revenge.” Produced by Marley Marl, the song was released in 1984 when Shanté was just 14.
On Friday (March 23), the Queens Hip Hop pioneer stopped by The Breakfast Club to discuss a bevy of topics, including the upcoming Netflix biopic, Roxanne Roxanne. During the interview, she revealed why her Hip Hop career was so short-lived.
“One of things about it was it was not financially beneficial for me at that time and I had a lot of responsibility,” Shanté explains. “Not only was I already a parent, already had my son, but I was responsible for my sister. So, being responsible for my family members, I needed things that were financially lucrative for me, and at that time it wasn’t. I was a battle rapper. I had no intention of making records.”
She continues, “It just so happens Marley Marl, who happened to be one of the greatest Hip Hop producers, lived across the street right above the laundry mat, and I was going to do laundry and he was like, ‘Listen, come and do a freestyle for me.’ And that’s how this came about. There was no demo. There was no looking around for record companies. Everything literally came to me — the same way how the movie came. It’s just about the things that take place in the universe.”
Let’s even it out >> @imroxanneshante is here with @chantee__ (who plays her character in the movie) #roxanneroxanne. They talk about how the movie happened when @mimivaldes approached her to tell her story, women being pitted against each other in hip-hop and her own experience with multiple Roxannes, why she cut her rap career short and how Chante was groomed to play her in this movie
When asked if she felt she wasn’t properly recognized as one of the first popular female MCs, Shanté replied, “Do I? No.”
“The reason why is because Roxanne Shanté has never looked or searched for the accolades from others,” she explains. “I’ve been very confident with that. I’ve always walked with a certain confidence, so I didn’t need anyone to validate me. I validate myself every morning. So, I didn’t need validation from anyone. I didn’t need anyone to say, ‘Ok Roxanne Shanté started this.’ If you know that you started something, then there’s no need anyone to tell you what you started. See, a lot of people need that validation but I was blessed to already have that within myself. I didn’t need that.”
Watch the full interview above.