Tuesday, June 2, 2009
VA - roxanne, roxanne PART 1
Old heads already know, but answer records or counteraction records have long been a part of the music. Cover versions and spin-offs on a theme generate very creative and often corny songs that compete for airtime and the public’s attention. Lowell Fulson’s
“Tramp” and Rufus Thomas’ dog lyrics started a flood of copycat grooves, and it seems like everyone had a new dance step to sing about too.
Of course the tradition carried into reggae and soca long ago, and it has been a great way to hype up a few artistes by pitting them against each other in a mock war. It’s not worth listing all of the famous beefs here, but as you read this, you can think of a few performers in your favorite genre who hate each other.
Possibly the first diss war in hip hop was started by a UTFO b-side called “Roxanne, Roxanne”, whose lyric made fun of a stuck-up girl who thought she was too cool for school. It was one of those surprise radio smashes that occurred when deejays flipped over a single and made the other song the actual hit with their own airplay.
A young girl from Queens named Shante Gooden came out as Roxanne Shante, dissing UTFO with the Marley Marl produced “Roxanne’s Revenge”, reportedly angering UTFO enough to bring out The Real Roxanne (aka Adelaida Martinez). They didn’t realize what they had started, but depending on who you ask, there are as many as a hundred spin-offs of “Roxanne, Roxanne”. For months the beat raged on, coming from every radio tuned to R&B.
Here are some of the main ones, all taken from twelve inch disco singles bought new at the time. Post the other pieces if you have them and let us know. Whoever makes a mega mix with these should send us a link (yeah right).