09/02/09 Update: According to Slate.com, this inspirational story is made up. Shanté, real name Lolita Shanté Gooden, has allegedly never received a Ph. D in psychology from Cornell University, nor did Warner Music have a contractual obligation to pay for Shanté’s education. To find out more information, head HERE. Remember, even though this story is fictitious, doesn’t mean the moral doesn’t hold true!
After dominating the old school hip hop game at the age of 14, rapper pioneer Roxanne Shante decided that one alma matter wasn’t enough. Now, aside from boasting achievements such as “First Queen of Hip Hop” and “member of the Juice Crew,” Shante’s curriculum vitae also reads “Ph.D in psychology” from Cornell.
Shante’s 1984 hit single “Roxanne’s Revenge,” sold an impressive 250,000 copies in her hometown New York City alone. Little did the young star know that she would later get her revenge on Warner Music, her label that stiffed her from much of her hard-earned money. The label actually footed the hefty tuition, although getting them to do so wasn’t easy. Apparently, Warner Music did not want to fulfill their contractual promise to pay for all of the young Roxanne Shante’s future education. Yet, when Shante threatened to go public with the issue, Warner eventually agreed to pay for both Shante’s undergrad and graduate fees.
Shante’s many achievements destroy the notion that rappers are narcissistic and counterproductive to the black society, while demonstrating that female rappers can definitely hold their own lyrically.
In an article from The New York Daily News Shante states,
“I’m an example that you can be a teenage mom, come from the projects, and be raised by a single parent, and you can still come out of it a doctor.”
Today, Shante runs her own psychology practice in Queens where she implements unconventional methods of therapy, such as freestyling, focusing primarily on African-Americans. Big ups to you, Dr. Roxanne Shante!
Check out some of Roxanne’s videos and songs below:
“Roxanne’s Revenge” (How much does this chick rock?!)
“Lossey’s Rap” Roxanne Shante & Rick James