MUSIC

THE REAL ROXANNE

the_real_roxanne-the_real_roxanne(zyx_records)

After UTFO’s Roxanne Roxanne spawned dozens of answer records back in 1984-85, the group and their producers, Full Force, created their own authorized answer record, hiring a woman named Elease Jack to record it as “The Real Roxanne.” For reasons unknown, after the record was released she was replaced by a woman named Adelaida Martinez who would perform the song on stage with UTFO and appeared as Roxanne in their music video. In 1988 she released her own full-length self-titled debut album on Select Records, which incidentally makes her one of the earliest non-Black rappers with a record deal.

The album consisted of 13 songs (which is a lot for that time), mostly produced by Full Force and her DJ Hitman Howie Tee, opening up with the uptempo ROXANNE’S ON A ROLL, in which she declares herself “Rap’s First Lady” and takes a subliminal shot at MC Lyte.

She proves herself to be a competent rappers on the midtempo tracks LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH and EARLY EARLY and then changes tone on INFATUATED, which is a love rap (after the success of LL Cool J’s “I Need Love”, most rappers tried to do a love rap). And then on LUV SCANDAL she actually sings, and is very good, before getting back to rap with the hit song Bang Zoom (Lets Go Go).

The next tracks, DON’T EVEN FEEL IT, HER BAD SELF and GET UP ON THE GET DOWN are traditional braggadocio rhymes over funky beats. And then on OH DARLING (LIKE WE USED TO) it’s another ballad with Roxanne singing. And that’s followed by the single, RESPECT

HOWIE’S TEED OFF is an ode to the skills of her DJ, and then the album closes out with RAP TO ME.

Overall this wasn’t isn’t a bad album. Lyrically she’s competent but not spectacular. Certainly she wouldn’t stand up to Roxanne Shante, Salt N Pepa and other female rappers of her era. But with Full Force’s slick production work, she created a nice bunch of songs. I would single out the two songs where she sings and say that, in my opinion, she probably should have focused more on being a singer than a rapper, she might have lasted longer.

Chacebook rating: THREE STARS

available on iTunes

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