6 Reasons Millennials Need To Know About The OG Black Feminist Rapper Roxanne Shante
Before Lil Kim, MC Lyte and Salt-N-Pepa, a ponytail-welding rapper from Queens had all the wannabe MCs on the block shook.
March 28, 2018 at 1:37 am
Roxanne Shante has been waiting patiently for her turn.
While the rap career of the 48-year-old Queens native was short-lived, her legacy was not — it was atrociously understated.
After watching Netflix's biopic centered on the first solo female hip-hop artist, which premiered on Friday, it became evident the faux hip-hop heads of Generation X have failed us. If it weren't for Shante, it may have taken ages for Nicki Minaj to categorize select groups of individuals as her sons, Lil' Kim to hop on the airwaves to question "How Many Licks" and Salt-N-Pepa to "Talk About Sex."
Here are the reasons we need to promptly hail Roxanne Shante as the OG black feminist she is:
1. She champions female emcees of all eras.
During a recent interview with "The Breakfast Club," Shante imparted she wanted all her fellow emcees to win — and she didn't mind if that meant waiting her turn.
When asked about the beef between Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma from last February, Shante remarked that as a battle rapper, she wanted Nicki to clap back to "Shether." But, as a woman, Shante said she didn't like seeing her "hip-hop sisters fight."
"As a female and a lover of my sisters, I don't like to see them go at it at all," she told the morning show's hosts.
2. She sonned every boy on the block and took their coins while she was at it.
Before Nicki Minaj was grabbing bibs for all her sons, Shante was taking their coins. In the biopic, Shante's early rap career was rife with male emcees from around the way thinking the young female rapper was one to sleep on. It wasn't long before Shante declared she wouldn't be engaging in rap battles that would have her walking away with anything less than a smooth hunnit.
3. She called out the music industry's manipulation of the relationships between female emcees.
One of hip-hop's earliest rap beefs emanated from a commercialized rivalry between Shante and The Real Roxanne. When asked why she believed women were always being pitted against one another while on "The Breakfast Club," Shante spoke wisdom into the mics at 105.1.
"Back in the day, the reason why they did that is so we would not educate each other," Shante said. "If you made $10,000 a show and they was stealing from me and I was only getting $2,000 a show, I wouldn't know that unless I got a chance to talk to you about it…They need to keep me from having one lunch with you because one lunch is all you need. One lunch is all it takes to be educated."
"That's the reason why they try to keep women separated is because we educate and empower each other when we're together," she said.
4. She dedicated herself to the women in her life.
Part of the reason Shante's rap career was never fully actualized was because there was no money in hip-hop at the time. The emcee’s unfaltering devotion to her family, particularly caring for her younger sisters, forced her to find a more lucrative way to make a living.
5. She told Nas to be on his P’s and Q’s in her presence. And he still is.
I grew up in The Bridge. My hood is LEGENDARY. I was just a supa yougin witnessing GREATNESS, Hip Hop HISTORY. Roxanne Shante's story is the first movie about a female HIP HOP PIONEER. Roxanne Roxanne. Watching now and heres lil me !!! Too honored. Thank you @imroxanneshante @iamnialong @tj__brown @chantee__ @pharrell
6. Her first single was a four-minute breakdown of why most men will never be good enough for queens like herself.
Shante's 1985 classic "Roxanne's Revenge" was an impeccably rhymed response to the UTFO hit "Roxanne, Roxanne." In Shante's game-changing single, the 14-year-old rap phenom essentially shot down every whack dude who tries to holler at girls out of their league. It was the original "No Scrubs."
Shante is the OG you never knew. Get your praise hands ready.