Roxanne Shanté – “Have a Nice Day” from her 1989 hip hop classic “Bad Sister”

You guys, I have been so busy packing up mail-order for Cassette Day, which is tomorrow, that I totally spaced my Record of the Day duties! So i’m going to knock this one out quickly with Queens battle rapper Roxanne Shanté. She was the fiercest female MC in the Juice Crew. The Juice Crew counted Biz Markie, Marley Marl, Kool G Rap, and Craig G. among it’s ranks. One of Shanté’s records really got the ball rolling for the Juice Crew, her answer record to UTFO’s “Roxanne, Roxanne”, called “Roxannes Revenge”. She gained a lot of confidence over the course of the next few records she’d cut, and her record “Big Mama” remains one of fiercest battle tracks ever put to wax. With verses that take digs at MC Lytes sexuality and Yo-Yo’s weight, I’m going to say it’s problematic for that fact, but there are extremely hilarious lines where she disses Monie Love and Queen Latifah for being Hip Hop-lite, R & b crossover sellouts who “can’t even rhyme right”. So if you can listen to it in the context of when it was released in mind, and can overlook and forgive some problematic verses, check that out here.

So for the RotD i’ve picked another cut from her 1989 album. It’s a party cut called “Have a Nice Day” and it’s classic Shanté. I’m going to include a bonus video from the same album called “Go On Girl” which has the same beat as Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two” and they obviously had the bigger hit with it. But Shanté was no slouch on the UK charts, especially for an early female MC, as she states in “Go on Girl”, “I was overseas on the charts with Boy George!”

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Courtney DelMar

Aside from writing about bands for 50THIRDAND3RD, CJDelMar runs the Girlsville Records imprint out of Portland, OR. Girlsville is home to bands like COACHWHIPS, HOOD RATS, TOWANDA, MR. AIRPLANE MAN, VIRVON VARVON, & THE PRISSTEENS. girlsville.bandcamp.com

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  • She wasn’t exactly huge on the UK charts but did get some play in clubs and radio. We played the crap out of her records in the London record shop I worked in 1985-87, but most customers were not into rap, let alone Shante. I only found out recently that John Peel used to play her on his BBC (national) radio show.

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