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Roxanne Shanté

The narrative of Roxanne Shanté is one of the most compelling in hip-hop. However, even in spite of this, Shanté’s tale is one that hip-hop’s new generation of enthusiasts most likely know nothing about. Following U.T.F.O’s 1984 “Roxanne, Roxanne” single, Queensbridge-based producer Marley Marl enlisted the skills of a then-unknown female lyricist named Roxanna Shanté to respond to the aforementioned song on wax. The response, fittingly titled “Roxanne’s Revenge,” created what was dubbed the “Roxanne Wars” and a slew of back-and-forth diss tracks broke out. Roxanne Shanté went on to become part of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew that was also home to Mr. Magic, MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap, among others. As a group, the Juice Crew are renowned for their feud with Boogie Down Productions from the South Bronx and the illustrious “Bridge Wars.” Shanté is remembered for her incredible freestyling ability and being one of the first females to successfully jump on wax.


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