The 1980's was hip-hop's first real decade. This was the era when everything started to branch out and blow up. In 1984, Lolita Shante (later adopting Roxanne Shante), a 14-year-old living in the Queensbridge Projects, released a diss record titled "Roxanne's Revenge" in response to UTFO's "Roxanne, Roxanne" — it was a way to help a local DJ get back at UTFO for cancelling a radio appearance. The record became a hit and went on to ignite what may be the most "answer records" in music history, now referred to as "The Roxanne Wars," making Roxanne Shante the first female emcee overnight sensation. Now, in 2018, during a monumental year for women of color in the music industry, a new Netflix original movie, "Roxanne Roxanne," tells Shante's story. Shante paved the way for women in rap — from Foxy Brown to Nicki Minaj — so if you're listening to "Invasion of Privacy" by Cardi B, but haven't heard "Roxanne's Revenge," you're doing something wrong.
Roxanne Shante will perform during an 80's party on Friday, April 27, at Clarissa's African Lounge, 293 Clarissa Street. 7 p.m. $20 advance tickets, available at Xquisite Boutique, 171 Monroe Avenue. 713-0836; facebook.com/jrealentertainmentllc.