Legendary rapper Roxanne Shante is often not credited when discussing the female pioneers of the rap/hip-hop scene. At 14 years old, she was the reigning MC of Queensbridge known for her notorious battle skills.
On the next episode of TV One’s award-winning music documentary series Unsung, Roxanne shares her life story from performances with local MCs to becoming rap’s first female MC. At the height of her career, she became the first lady of the legendary Cold Chillin’ Records, but decided to walk away from it all.
Born Shante Gooden, the female MC got her first break on “Roxanne’s Revenge” produced by Marley Marl. In a teaser clip, she details how the record came about.
“Once I was inside Marley’s house he had all his equipment in the living room and he gave me a set of headphones,” she says. “He said, ‘So what you are you going to rhyme about’. I said ok well if this is the song he’s talking about with the Roxanne, then I’ll just come up with the topic of being Roxanne.”
“Well, my name is Roxanne, a-don’t ya know, I just a-cold rock a party, and I do this show,” she raps.
Roxanne also discussed other female rappers not giving her due credit in another clip. “I used to think that maybe the women held a certain animosity towards me because of it,” she says. “There’s very few that will say ‘It’s because of Roxanne Shante that I am in this game of hip hop’. You’ll hear Yo Yo say it but I’ve never been that accepted sister.”
The Roxanne Shante episode on Unsung airs this Sunday, March 1 at 10 p.m. ET/9C
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