Roxanne Shante & DJ Polo - Thine Line
Roxanne Shanté, Ph.D. (born Lolita Shanté Gooden, November 9, 1969) is an American hip-hop pioneer. Born and raised in the Queensbridge Projects, Shanté first gained attention through the Roxanne Wars and her association with the Juice Crew.
Shanté's career began at the age of 14 when she encountered influential gangster world of record producer Marley Marl, radio DJ Mr. Magic, and Tyrone Williams talking about how UTFO had canceled its appearance at a show that it was promoting. Shanté offered to record an answer to UTFO's recent hit "Roxanne, Roxanne," which was about a woman named who rejects the members of the group. The men agreed and the result was "Roxanne's Revenge," a confrontational and profane song in which Shanté assumed the role of Roxanne, dissing UTFO over a Marley Marl-produced instrumental (The official UTFO response to the its own song was The Real Roxanne, with artist Adelaida Martinez assuming the role of Roxanne and eventually recording under the same stage name as the song title). Shanté's version and the Real Roxanne's version sparked the Roxanne Wars and made Shanté a hip-hop star in the process. The single would go on to sell over 250,000 copies in the New York area alone. One of the founding members of the Juice Crew, most of her tracks would be produced by Marley Marl, with the exception of several songs on Shanté's last album, 1992's The Bitch Is Back.
As an MC, Shanté had an extraordinary ability to freestyle (improvise) entire songs. "Roxannes Revenge" was an example, reportedly written as it was recorded—in one take. However, the original version of the song was rerecorded after UTFO sued over the usage of its original backing track; the new version featured slightly different music with less profanity. People are most familiar with this version, which appears on the original 12-inch single released in 1984, with the original on the reverse side.
In 1988, Shanté and Rick James had a hit with "Loosey's Rap."
At the age of 25, Shanté retired from the recording industry to become a psychologist. She continues to make occasional guest appearances and live performances, as well as mentor young female hip-hop artists. She did the latter by making a cameo appearance on VH1's hip hop reality show Ms. Rap Supreme and gave rap-battle strategies to the finalists of that show. She also took part in a series of Sprite commercials during the late 1990s. She is married and has one son and one daughter, the first child of which was born when she was 14. She earned a PhD in psychology from Cornell University—paid for by her record label via an unusual contract clause—and has a practice in Queens.She is a vegan and owns Hip-Hop Ices ice cream parlor in Queens.