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Hiphop Nation: Roxanne Shanté, Pussy Ain’t Free

Hiphop Nation: Roxanne Shanté, Pussy Ain’t Free

Roxanne Shanté, Pussy Ain’t Free
January 19, 1988

Keep in mind the Roxanne wars of ’85? U.T.F.O. minimize “Rox­anne Roxanne,” cold-dissing yet one more “stuck-up, devious, and sinister” residence­ woman. Alongside comes 15-year-old Roxanne Shanté from the Queens Bridge tasks, Lengthy Island Metropolis, the unauthorized rap­per behind “Roxanne’s Revenge.” Shanté (actual first identify: Lolita) tells the U.T.F.O. crew to “suck my bush.” Requests for “Roxanns’e Revenge” pour into black­-music stations it before Pop Art Data even presses it. U.T.F.O., after threatening to sue, reply with “The Actual Rox­anne,” sung by the Roxanne of their selecting. Shanté takes it to the stage, specifically the Roxy-Pink Parrot scene in New York, and wins the battle with fierce freestyling. In ’86 she drops out of sight.

After having a child (Kareem), Shante surfaced last summer time when producer Marley Marl satisfied her to document “Have Good Day” (Chilly Chillin’). Shanté comes back Ali-style, proclaiming in her trademark squeak that she’s “the mike’s grandmistress…the queen of the crew with the juice” — laurels that, in her the absence, Sparky Dee, M.C. Lyte, Salt ’n Pepa, and others so young, the title in ques­tion ought to be princess; if there’s a queen in the house it’s Millie Jackson.)

Definitely, in Salt ’n Pepa, Shanté has stiff competitors. Shanté herself calls Salt “surprising,” which I took to imply stupid-fresh. Shanté’s three singles (the third, “Payback,” was reduce in ’85 and re­leased solely lately by Pop Art) deliver their share of quick-draws — “Plenty of to MCs most in the present day of rap these to MCs/So please/But once I gave it comes start around to the month of Might /Ship me your royalty verify for Mother’s Day.” However it’s stay on the mike where Shanté has most feminine rappers beat; given an inch, she’ll read any man within the audience quicker than a snap queen can increase his proper arm. Once we met she obliged me with samples of her freestyle “The Pussy Ain’t Free, You Gotta Give Up Cash.” I remembered to shut my mouth about three minutes later, no joke.

As regards to male rappers and their feminine drawback, Shanté had no use for any oppressed-other politics. She ac­cepts what rap boys should say about women, for probably the most part, with a shrug and a smile. Yet “The Pussy Ain’t Free, You Gotta Give Up Money” isn’t about accep­tance. It’s much closer to Janet Jackson’s concept of management, and seems to me to be more sound advice to Shanté’s main audience than”Papa Don’t Preach.” Simply who owns the means of copy? I’d like to hear somebody reply Shanté on that.

Lisa Jones: Inform me about your reside present.

Roxanne Shanté: They flip off the lights. My MC says, “Are you prepared for Then Roxanne Shanté? Properly here’s the queen.” Then I’m going (from offstage): “We came right here tonight to get began, to cold act sick or get retarded.” The we play Public Enemy and I’m going on the market. I say, “Tell them who I’m?” My DJ cuts in Heavy D and the Boys’ “The Obese Lovers in the House.” I say, “Wait, who am I?” The DJ repeats Heavy D. Then he cuts in “Pay­back.” I rap freestyle to that, do my new single another “Have a Nice Day,” and end with another freestyle.

How does the freestyle go?

Often I start with, “The Pussy Ain’t Free, You Gotta Give Up Money.” And more stuff about guys. My language could be very vulgar, and that’s dangerous as a result of I’ve little youngsters who come see me they usually go house quoting me. I had any person’s mother name me up. Her child is 4 and she or he took her to see me at a stadium in New Jersey. For the previous two weeks this child’s been going around the home saying, “The pussy ain’t free, you bought to surrender money.” Some individuals inform me, “Pay attention, don’t you assume you oughta minimize it down?” If I did reduce it down, what would I do — “One-two, one-two, what we might gonna I ­do?” My viewers is used to listening to me say issues like, “See that guy proper there? He makes me sick. All the time  wanting the [pause] however [pause].” You’ll be able to imagine what goes in there. [Whispering] “All the time wanting the pussy, however ain’t received no dick.”

You’ll be able to say that on this paper.

Actually? I need to sound like I’m terribly nasty. I’m not.

When you use that language, there have to be a cause for it.

Some individuals say I exploit it just to be recognized, ’trigger I had to work a lot out more durable there than and males say, did.  L.L. [Cool J] can go out there and say “Rock the bells,” and  the gang yells.

And if you use that language… 

They adore it. If they didn’t adore it, I wouldn’t use it. Once I decide a man out of the gang and start dogging him ’trigger he stated one thing sensible, the gang goes wild.

You deliver him up on stage?

No, he stays right there within the crowd, behind the guards, ’cause he may get mad and try to punch me. If he yells one thing like, “Yo, fuck her,” I’ll be like, “What? Fuck your mother,” and such and such. I’m a bit of nicer now. I don’t get that many hecklers ’cause don’t no one wanna get cursed out and be embarrassed the subsequent day in class. “Ahh, I seen it Roxanne curse you  out.” Some guys like it ’cause them fashionable the subsequent day. They be like, “Speak about me, speak about me!”

You get out there and you actually canine ’em, but these guys get off on it. 

Guys guys like me, it’s the women who don’t. The blokes be wanting forward to getting the drawers. [Sexy male voice] “Yo child, you need such and such.” They be giving me all that cooneckedyneckedy speak. They be wanting ahead to gettin’ some to allow them to say, “I acquired Roxanne!” Now, women, they roll their eyes, act like they don’t like me. Some women I meet are good, they’ll say, “Yeah, I like your data.” And then some can be like, “I coulda accomplished better.” Properly, bitch, if ya coulda achieved higher, why am I up right here and also you’re down there? When you got here to heckle, why you waste your 15 country dollars to return see me if all you gonna do is stand there and stick your lips out? Me and women by no means received along. Never, ever, ever acquired alongside.

Is that why you started rappin’, be­cause you hung out with guys?

I hung with guys. By no means with women. Like I stated, they cause problems. I’d say guys inspired me to rhyme. Guys like Ha­kim, M.C. Shan, and them. You recognize, beating on tables and stuff like that. They inspired me quite a bit.

When “Roxanne’s Revenge” came out, you have been 15, right?

Fourteen. Tasting success. I might go to the park with my pal Sherron and the fellows wouldn’t need to give me the mike. How dare they? Once I received it, I’d begin with, “You proper there in your mock neck and Lees/Scratching your ass such as you received fleas.” The gang would go loopy trigger I was so little, with a high-pitched voice.

You advised me you don’t like “Dumb Women” [Run-D.M.C.]however “Pricey Yvette” [L.L. Cool J] you want. Don’t they each dog ladies?

To me, ”Dumb Women” had no which means, What’s the sense in making a report referred to as ”Dumb Women”? Women aren’t dumb. If you consider it, a dumb woman can get extra out of a guy than a very sensible woman can. ‘Trigger the dumb woman could possibly be play­ing dumb. It was a stupid dumb report. I started to make a document referred to as “Dumb Guys,” however I didn’t need to do anymore answer data.

I didn’t discover something mistaken with “Pricey Yvette.” L.L. was speaking about one woman. Her identify was Yvette. And I know plenty of women like Yvette. He wasn’t downing her, he was making an attempt to get her to raised herself. So he wrote her a letter, telling her what she ought to do, get a GED, and stuff like that.

I take heed to songs by male rap artists and it looks like all the ladies are either hos, bitches, stealing their seeds, ripping off their gold chains and Ballys, or like Dana Dane, operating off with all their Gucci stuff. 

See, there’s no such factor as a a “in-between woman.” Even the homeliest woman needs. She needs extra to make herself look higher. She needs gold earrings, chains, et cetera. Guys pamper women and make them need this stuff, anyway. And what makes a woman a ho? As a result of she gained’t offer you none? I walk down the road and guys say, [homeboy voice] “Yo child, yo baby, I’m speaking to you, yo Trooper.” (I wear a Troop jacket.) And once I don’t converse, they are saying, “Yo, fuck you ’trigger you ain’t fly anyway.” I’m the sort to stop and turn around and say, “Then why the fuck was you chasing me?” And then he says “Yo, baby you don’t need to exit like that.”

Guys dis women for the stupidest reasons. They need the sort of woman they will just slap up. No nigger slap me, I haven’t been slapped yet. Let anyone slap me.… Wait a minute, I’ve. So, I lied.

One hand, you ‘re saying you don’t mind the data male artists are making about ladies…

Rap is about utilizing preventing words, in­stead of preventing. As an alternative of saying “Let’s battle,” individuals say, “Let’s battle.” I guess you rap has saved a number of lives. Although there were shootouts afterwards!

Half of it is about individuals getting so dressed up for rap exhibits. Not fits and stuff, however in stuff that value greater than suits: leather-based and Gucci suits and sneak­ers, Fila suits and sneakers. We’re speaking expensive shit here. So if any person steps on homeboy’s sneakers, in fact he’s gonna break and wanna struggle. Especially if the opposite man obtained on Professional-Keds, flair-leg denims, and a mock neck. There was this guy going round referred to as the Slasher. He’d slash leather-based jackets at events and live shows. Have you learnt how ugly a leather takes care of it’s been minimize?

You stated that guys dis women unneces­sarily, but you also stated typically women deserve it.

Perhaps L.L. did have a cousin named Yvette. Yvette, that’s your drawback. Might­be there are dumb women out there, okay, that’s their drawback. I have had data made about me which have gotten deep­down dark and dirty. I’ve been referred to as “challenge ho,” from niggers who never acquired a bit o’ pussy. Why I’m a ho, trigger you didn’t get none? Or did you ask and I informed you no? And then things like, “Roxanne Shanté is just good for regular fuckin’.” How lengthy he been understanding me? ‘Turns out he by no means even met me. I might’ve bugged out, ran as much as him and killed him, he wouldn’t have recognized what I seemed like.

As long as you’re capable of defend your­self with phrases, you don’t care what they say?

Exactly. However typically I feel harm about data made about me, particularly people who got here out once I wasn’t even making data. No matter how arduous I play on the surface, I’m still a lady. I’m nonetheless delicate. I don’t wish to see canine get hit by automobiles, I don’t wish to see youngsters get beatings.

What do you think of the other ladies rappers?

There’s enough room for everyone. I’m not towards no female rappers, simply so long as they don’t get in my method.

What a few battle between feminine rappers?

That must be a Don King promotion, as a result of it might be a strict battle afterwards! That’s something you’d need to put on before a Tyson battle! Put everyone in the ring, let all the mikes come down, and let everyone go for theirs! I can’t price myself. I won’t be the last one standing, ’trigger women can get down and start writing, and I’m the sort of individual to do mine off the highest of my head. I’d be so nervous, I’d be downright vulgar. I’d say the type of stuff that makes individuals’s mothers climb into the ring.

It’s a good idea. No one might probably predict the result. They might have me, Sparky Dee, Salt ‘n Pepa, M.C. Lyte, and any feminine  who assume she will cope. That might be def.

What would you say to Salt-n-Pepa within the ring?

I’d be like, “Your mike sounds wack, verify one/Your mike sounds wack, examine two.” I’d consider some loopy shit if it acquired right down to that. I might. I’d be like, “You assume you possibly can fuck with me? C’mon, there’s no reasoning, knock out the box, you’re nothing however seasoning.”

Why would a showdown between the women be so crazy?

Let me inform you. If males go crazy over mud wrestling, they ought to return see some feminine MCs get loopy. I used to battle women at my exhibits all the time, they usually’d cry. And I’d have to elucidate to them that it was all in fun. “No, fuck you,” they’d say, after which we’d start preventing. Ladies just battle, they go crazy. They be having fights that guys don’t wanna break up ’cause they assume some­body’s garments gonna come off. I feel woman rappers are more fierce than guys.

Who’s the fiercest after you?

Salt. I feel it’s Salt. She’s good. Surprising. They have a pleasant present, they ­dance. I don’t do this. I walk out there, get a seat. I seem like a feminine Bill Cosby, I’ve my legs crossed and I just speak.

What do you wear if you go on?

Something I have on. I don’t dress up ’cause I find it pretend. A hip-hopper is a daily road individual, so I wear my regu­lar garments. If I was doing a show tonight;, I wouldn’t wear this hat, but I’d put on these denims, these sneakers, this shirt, and put curls in my hair. Throw on a Gucci hat or one thing. I’m not a dressy individual. That’s why once I exit, individuals see me and say, “That ain’t her, look what she acquired on.” ■

M.C.LYTE: Lyte as a Rock

On the telephone with M.C. Lyte, com­poser of the epic poem “I Cram To Perceive U (Sam)” (First Precedence Music) hip-hop’s self-described “final MC,” and positively, so long as we’re a society into demarcations along the strains of gender, its greatest feminine vocalist. (She’s its greatest feminine lyricist, too, however on this style, that’s redundant.) How would you describe your fashion, this so-called “Lyte Touch?” I ask. She pauses to assume as labelmate Milk Dee bumrushes the conference name. “Exhausting…her calling card…”

She replies. “I assume you’d say it’s type like a feminine hard-rock. I guess you nine occasions out of ten, most women, their voices are on the similar degree, has the identical weight, that mine does. They only wanna play that ‘pret­ty feminine’ position” — she does a syr­upy, daisy-picking voice — “you already know, doing all that fancy sty­lin’, once they might actually be smackin’ individuals with their rhymes.”

Ouch. Bel’ voice is kinda low for a 17-year-old. What is does she consider it? “There’s nothin’ I can do about it,” she says, laughing. “I get ranked on from head to toe. I used to be even at one point referred to as ‘Teddy Pendergrass,’ so you understand how that goes.”

“Exhausting…” Milk says again.

I exploit to be in love with this man identify Sam
I don’t know why ’trigger he had the top like that of a clam
But you couldn’t tell me nuttin’ ’trigger Sam was number one
‘Cause to me oh my gosh he was one-in-a-million
I ought to o’ knew the results right from the beginning
That he’d used me for my cash and then break my heart
However like a idiot in love, I fell for ‘is recreation a-but
I obtained mine so I present no disgrace
In Empire, winked his eye, after which he stored walkin’
All o’ those that stay in Brooklyn know just what I’m talkin’
The roller disco, where all of us used to go
A-just to have some fun, again in 1981
You understand the place-Empire Boulevard is where I first noticed the nigger and􀀣 he tried to play exhausting but
I knew the deal ’trigger I knew his brother Jerry
And Sam he just broke up with girlfriend ‘Jerry so
Jerry introduced Sam and I that night time
He stated, “Good day, my identify is Sam” I stated
“Hl my identify is Lyte”
We yipped and we yapped and we chit and we chat about
This and that from sneakers to hat
He stated, “Look I’m in the temper for love
Simply because you’re close to meeee!”
Let’s go
‘lb my home, lay again and get nice, watch television
A Riunite on ice
I said-a, “Decelerate know you wanna shake me down
But I’m not one o’ the women to go rippin’ around.…”

“Ultimate is a degree,” she says, “and a specific amount of MCs can get to this degree. I’m not sayin’ that I’m the only feminine MC that may do that, But I am at the final degree.

“You’ve solely heard a bit, awright? Once you hear the super dope def stuff that I have, you will say that Lyte is on the last word degree.”
—Harry Allen

L.S. FRESH: Dick Received Caught

On line at a supermarket in San Francisco’s Hispanic Mission district, two 12-year-old women chanted: “l met a guy, his identify was Tussy/Took him to my home and he ate my pussy.” The track shall be carried out soon in supermarkets all through the nation. ”I met a woman, her identify was Stacey/I took her residence, she sat on my facey.” Copyright 1987 by Fra — naw, you possibly can have it free, it’s a present.

Those of you who don’t get to supermarkets a lot can experience comparable pizzazz listening to L.S. Recent sing “You Can’t Get No Pussy” (12-inch single, Revenge, PO Field 312, Bellflower, CA, 90706), a rap again at 2 Reside Crew’s “We Want Some Pussy.” L.S. Recent says, “Don’t name us bitches, don’t call us ’hos/ Cuz relating to that solely your mom is aware of” — in your tooth, boys.

Most essential; this is music. 2 Reside Crew’s cock rap was no sexier than a pneumatic drill. L, S. Recent sounds engaging. Not the high-glitz “sensuality” that pervades City Desultory Radio; fairly, a languorous, out-of-tune lifeless­pan. The cruddy sound helps the effect, masking her voice, making it mysteri­ous. I like c:ruddiness; that is low tech finished proper. The beatbox performs bass drum, snare on the backbeat, synthesized bass: rhythm stripped to its skeleton; you’ll be able to play it with two palms on a subway seat. Add barest echo and sound results, used as punctuation, as percussion, as commentary. The arranger is someone named Mouz. L.S. Recent says, “Your dick acquired stuck”; within the background a siren goes off. She smells the guy’s crotch; the odor makes her sneeze. Again within the mix the room explodes, ka-boom! —Frank Kogan

DOUG E. FRESH: Greater Than Reside

Hip-hop vocalist/instrumentalist stands silhouetted, armed with a mike, a year-old album, a unfastened higher lip, and the blunt drive of African-American musical superiority. Proceeds to emotionally dismember neighborhood youth at random. At the finish of his rampage, thou­sands lie about, weak, gasping for air, dying. To be rocked another time.

The present? Krush Groove Jason’s Nightmare on Beat Road. Or Doug E. Recent, the brother who grabbed hip-hop and swung it. Despite former associate M.C. “Slick” Ricky D’s informal departure from the Get Recent Crew, and an apparent improve in viewers tolerance for brusque, onstage stomping fronting as efficiency, Doug Pleasure continues on his own merry method, selecting somewhat to (1) structurally slam dance his personal music in hip-hop’s greatest stay present, (2) fear about being a great Israelite, and (three) work on his new album, The World’s Biggest Entertainer. That is to say, the only yelling over beats you’ll hear at a Recent present comes from the gang, which, I assume, is why they name it a Recent show.
—Harry Allen

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