The 50 Best Rap Songs by Women

2. Roxanne Shante "Roxanne's Revenge" (1984)

Album: Roxanne's Revenge 12"

In 1984, a fourteen-year-old girl stepped to the microphone and delivered one of the earliest diss records in hip-hop history. Roxanne Shante, who would later become embroiled in the legendary "Bridge Wars" between the Juice Crew and Boogie Down Productions, delivered a biting response to UTFO's "Roxanne Roxanne" at the whim of radio personality Mr. Magic and legendary producer Marley Marl, who had been slighted when the rap group bailed on an appearance they had been promoting. Getting into the mind of the fictional character that UTFO created (a woman who rejects their advances), "Roxanne's Revenge" triggered what is now known as the "Roxanne Wars." UTFO retaliated by recruiting a rapper they called The Real Roxanne to make a response. Dozens of answer records from groups not involved in the beef were released. Through it all, "Roxanne's Revenge" reigned supreme, selling 250,000 copies in New York City alone and eventually going gold nationwide. Not only is the song incredible for the brashness that Shante displays in her early adolescence, but also because she freestyled the song, recording the original song in one take.

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