Monday, June 7, 2010

Milk Carton Diary™: What Ever Happened To Roxanne Shanté?

There I was at a recent event on a beautiful day that called for rain but thankfully didn’t. I was a little ticked off at the fact that the subway grate I was standing on (that was conveniently located behind the red velvet rope where press was told to stand) was messing with my boot’s heel. After waiting for over an hour for celebrities to appear, Roxanne Shanté came walking down the red carpet.

I probably would have been able to notice her almost immediately, but I was surprised to see Naughty By Nature in the flesh. I was a huge fan when I was younger...but that’s another post hopefully for another time.

Anyway, her eyes were striking and so was his personality.

Roxanne Shanté is known as one of the pioneering Hip-Hop femcees that was at the center of what would be the beginning of beef in Hip-Hop.

You see, during the mid-80’s Roxanne made a name for herself after hopping on a track that would stand as a diss track aimed at U.T.F.O. (a group of rappers which included Kangol Kid) because of them canceling an appearance at a show they were promoting. Roxanne was 14-years old at the time.

She happened to be in the right place at the right time and her presence would start a new trend in Hip-Hop with MC’s displaying their lyrical skills by directing their rhymes at one another, of course keeping it on wax.

Though Roxanne Shanté ended up taking a hiatus from music in her mid-20’s, her name came up once again after VH1 ranked her single “Roxanne’s Revenge” number 42 on their 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Song list.

In the same countdown it was revealed that Roxanne had gone on to earn her bachelor’s degree at Marymount Manhattan College and later her Masters and PhD in Psychology from Cornell University. Apparently, Warner Music Group was obligated, thanks to her contract with them, to fund Roxanne’s way through college.

Those claims were later shown to be false, claims that Roxanne herself would later confess to. I of course was crushed. I was definitely happy to hear that she was able to put out good music and still pursue an education being that education and the arts is a perfect marriage. But it wasn’t what it was and there was no point in dwelling on what wasn’t.

When I ran into her on the red carpet I asked her what she was up to. She explained that she had changed locations and was starting a new and that she spent most of her time throwing 80’s themed parties.

I wanted to know what her thoughts were regarding the new female rapper that is all the rage, Nicki Minaj, and she had some really nice and thoughtful things to say about her.

I asked Roxanne what she thought about Nicki’s animated style, she said…

“I want to say that she is absolutely talented. She’s very, very beautiful and in time it will change, it will tone down. I came into the industry very vulgar extreme profanity and then you get to a point where you’ll mature from that. And I think she [Nicki Minaj] definitely represents her craft and her style of Hip Hop.”

As artists tend to be fans of other artists I asked her if she was a fan, she said…

“I actually have no choice but to be a fan because I have teenagers. Overall she represents her craft and her form. Now it’s not a Shanté form but it’s her form."

Will Roxanne be returning to the mic? Finger's crossed but one thing is for sure, Roxanne’s style and role in battling rappers and slinging disses creatively has successfully made a name for herself and is probably why beef, raw of course, is so succulent in Hip-Hop.

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