The Mighty Junebugg – a June of all Trades

The Roxanne Wars
February 3, 2010, 2:04 am
Filed under: Hip Hop, History, Music, Roxanne Shante

Any of you ever notice that a lot of old school (like early 80’s old school) songs are named, about or by “Roxanne”? I used to wonder why Roxanne was so popular so I did a little diggin’ & found out some interesting info. The whole phenomenon started with the song “Roxanne Roxanne” by UTFO (Untouchable Force Organization). The song Roxanne Roxanne was about a fictional woman named Roxanne who rejects members of the group.

Roxanne Roxanne – UTFO

Meet: Lolita Shanté Gooden (born Novembber 9, 1969) At the age of 14, she entered the world of record producer Marley Marl, radio DJ Mr. Magic & Tyrone Williams. The guys were 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”. 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. Hence the name Roxanne Shanté. She recorded this song in one take!

Roxanne’s Revenge – Roxanne Shanté

UTFO tried to sue Roxanne Shanté for rocking over their beat plus she got a lot of flack for her profane language. So she re-recorded the song with less profanity over a Marley Marl produced beat. This is the most popular version of “Roxanne’s Revenge”

The official UTFO response to Roxanne Shanté’s “Roxanne’s Revenge” 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 The Real Roxanne.

The Real Roxanne – UTFO

After this, the world had two MCs with similar names, Roxanne Shanté and the Real Roxanne. These three songs started a series of rivalries known as the Roxanne Wars. A whole bunch of artists came out with dis songs portraying themselves as relatives of “Roxanne” or making various statements about her. Here are the most popular songs that came out of the Roxanne Wars:

  • “Sparky’s Turn (Roxanne, You’re Through)” by Sparky D, a feisty female who criticizes Roxanne (Shanté, in particular) for being disrespectful toward UTFO, and for being too young, both for them to pursue, and to be an MC. Even though the record defended UTFO, they were reportedly not appreciative of this additional unauthorized response. It was after this that the saga really took off.
  • “Roxanne’s Doctor-The Real Man” by Dr. Freshh, who also insulted Roxanne for having no class.
  • “Do the Roxanne” by Dr. Rocx & Co., which created a dance based on Roxanne. (Referred to Shanté’s cracky wacky voice, as Sparky D had described it in her record). A rare instance of a record in the series not aimed at dissing someone.
  • “The Parents of Roxanne” by Gigolo Tony & Lacey Lace, which answered both UTFO and Sparky D. It drew references from both “Roxanne’s Revenge” and “The Real Roxanne” as if both represented the true Roxanne.
  • “Yo, My Little Sister (Roxanne’s Brothers)” by Crush Groove (no relation to Krush Groove), which answered UTFO, Sparky D, and Dr. Freshh.
  • “Rappin’ Roxy: Roxanne’s Sister” by D.W. and the Party Crew featuring Roxy.
  • Another record answered Roxanne Shanté by a young female calling herself “Little Ice”, who told Roxanne to “make up her mind” if she wanted a man or not.
  • “Roxanne’s a Man (The Untold Story—Final Chapter)” by Ralph Rolle, which claimed that Roxanne was actually a man who had been sodomized in prison, and then having “lost hismanhood“, turned himself into a woman after his release; and insulted UTFO for not realizing this.

1 Comment so far
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This is really informative & interesting, Junebugg. It’s an awesome part of hip hop history that most people don’t know about. That’s dope.

Comment by Ani

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