Tha Jsta was gracious enough to give all the youngsters out there a (long) recap of the infamous Roxanne, Roxanne War that went down in the mid 80s. Feel free to fill in any gaps. Link

The Roxanne, Roxanne War is a well-known series of hip hop rivalries during the mid 1980s, yielding perhaps the most answer records in history. It arose from a dispute over a failed appearance at a radio promotional show. There were two Roxannes in question, Roxanne Shanté and The Real Roxanne. In 1984, the hip-hop trio U.T.F.O., produced by the R&B group Full Force, released a single titled “Hanging Out,” which did not do well. However, it was the single’s B side, “Roxanne, Roxanne,” which was about a woman who would not respond to their advances, that gained much attention and airplay.

Soon afterwards, 14-year-old Lolita Shanté Gooden was walking outside a New York City housing project called Queensbridge when she heard Tyrone Williams, disc jockey Mr. Magic, and record producer Marley Marl talking about how U.T.F.O. had canceled their appearance at a show they were promoting.[1][2] Gooden offered to make a hip-hop record that would get back at U.T.F.O., with her taking on the moniker Roxanne Shanté, after her middle name. The three took her up on the idea, with Marley producing “Roxanne’s Revenge.” The single was released in late 1984, taking the original beats from an instrumental version of “Roxanne, Roxanne.” It was very confrontational and vulgar, but was an instant hit that sold over 250,000 copies in the New York area alone. Legal action followed, and it was re-released in early 1985 with new beats and the obscenities removed.

Following this, U.T.F.O. and Full Force decided to release their own answer record. While not directly aimed at Roxanne Shanté, this record featured Adelaida Martinez, the model who played Roxanne in the music video, who took on the moniker of the Real Roxanne. This also was a hit, but this may have also produced an undesired result. While there had been answer records before (such as the semi-disco song “Somebody Else’s Guy” and “Games People Play”/”Games Females Play”), it would end with the second record. But in this saga, with a third record now, a whole trend began. The airwaves were so occupied with the three “Roxanne” records that other MCs decided to get into the act. Over the next year, anywhere from 30 to over 100 answer records (according to different claims) were produced, bringing in Roxanne’s family, or various claims about her.

The ones that were more well known were the following:

• “Sparky’s Turn (Roxanne, You’re Through)” by Sparky D, a feisty woman who criticises Roxanne (Shanté, in particular) for being disrespectful toward U.T.F.O., and being too young, both for them to pursue, and to be an MC. Even though the record defended U.T.F.O., they were reported to not be appreciative of this additional unauthorised response. It was after this that the saga really took off.

• “Roxanne’s Doctor – The Real Man” by Dr. Freshh, who also insulted Roxanne as having no class.

• “Do the Roxanne” by Dr. Rocx & Co., which created a dance based on Roxanne. (Referred to Shanté’s cracky wacky voice, as Sparky D had described it in her record). A rare instance of a record in the series not aimed at dissing someone.

• “The Parents of Roxanne” by Gigolo Tony & Lacey Lace, which answered both U.T.F.O. and Sparky D. It drew references from both “Roxanne’s Revenge” and “The Real Roxanne” as if both represented the true Roxanne.

• “Yo, My Little Sister (Roxanne’s Brothers)” by Crush Groove (no relation to Krush Groove), which answered U.T.F.O., Sparky D, and Dr. Freshh.

• “Rappin’ Roxy: Roxanne’s Sister” by D.W. and the Party Crew featuring Roxy.

• Another record answered Roxanne Shanté by a young woman calling herself “Little Ice,” who told her to “make up her mind” if she wanted a man or not.

• “Roxanne’s a Man (The Untold Story: The Final Chapter)” by Ralph Rolle, which claimed that Roxanne was actually a man who had been sodomised in prison, and then having “lost his manhood” turned himself into a woman after his release; and insulted U.T.F.O. for not realising this.

Soon, there was a huge outcry against all of these records. Soon a sort of moratorium was called on new Roxanne acts, and the response records finally died down. However, the battle continued among its core group of players:

• U.T.F.O. would also add another response of their own; “Roxanne, Roxanne, Pt. 2: Calling Her a Crab,” also aimed loosely at Shanté, in which they take back all the compliments they gave to Roxanne in the first record, give out insults instead, and claim to have never really liked her in the first place.

• Roxanne Shanté issued her follow up record “Queen of Rox,” which told the story of “how she got so fresh,” and faced “a little bit of hassle from U.T.F.O. about saying that I’m Roxanne,” and then takes a jab at the Real Roxanne (“Yeah, I seen that girl — she got a face like a man”).
• In “Bite This,” Shanté disses a bunch of other MCs, including “the Real Roxanne, Sparky D, and all the other Roxannes imitating me”

• Then, there was the one-on-one battle between Shanté and Sparky D: “Round 1 – Roxanne Shanté Vs. Sparky Dee.” The cover had a picture of both women challenging each other wearing boxing gloves.

The biggest successor to the Roxanne war was The Bridge Wars (in which Roxanne Shanté, as a member of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew, was loosely involved), which attacked the entire Queensbridge area. The tables were now turned, as this time it was a hit record produced by Mr. Magic and Marley Marl that garnered a response (MC Shan’s “The Bridge”), sparking off a whole new battle saga. It was in the midst of this battle, in the song “Go On, Girl,” that Roxanne Shanté dropped the name Roxanne, and was thereafter known only as Shanté. (The opening line says “it’s ’88, y’all, so no more Roxannes…”) Likewise, The Real Roxanne dropped “Real” from her name, and went by the name Roxanne, and was even addressed as such by Shanté in the track “Big Mama” in a reference to their past battles! This lasted until her 1992 track, “Roxanne S*** Is Over”, where she relinquishes the name Roxanne for good, and dubs herself Jo-Anne With The Plan. The album this was released on, Go Down But Don’t Bite It, however, was her final record. Shanté likewise retired from the business a few years afterward.

At the height of the Roxanne war the trend of answer records spread to other hip-hop hits; however, none produced nearly as many responses. The first three sagas (especially the second and third) bore a striking resemblance to the Roxanne war, as they involved women responding to men over supposed disrespect towards women:

• Right toward the end of the Roxanne saga, Doug E. Fresh’s “The Show” and its B-side “La Di Da Di” were big hits in the summer of 1985. They were answered by “The Showstoppers,” which was the first record performed by Salt-N-Pepa, at the time using the name Super Nature. Just like with “The Real Roxanne,” Doug. E. Fresh and/or his record company (Reality/Fantasy) followed with a self-answering record “No Show” performed by a group called Symbolic Three. Roxanne Shanté even got involved in this one, in what was probably an early live extended version of “Def Fresh Crew,” where she and the debuting Biz Markie go into a spoof of “La Di Da Di” called “Wash Your Body.” She ends this show telling Biz, “Let’s dis Sparky D, now.” The rhythm of “Def Fresh Crew” was itself made to resemble “La Di Da Di.”

• The Boogie Boys’ “Fly Girl,” in which they outline what they like and don’t like in girls, was answered by Pebblee Poo’s “Fly Guy,” in which she portrayed them as bummy and then outlines what she as a real fly girl is like, and what she likes in guys. The Boogie Boys’ follow up, “You Ain’t Fresh,” may possibly have been an indirect counterresponse.

• LL Cool J’s “Dear Yvette” criticised a girl whose reputation was apparently so bad “the reverend in the church said you was barred,” was answered by “E-Vette’s Revenge,” which was performed by E-Vette Money and produced by Kydd Fresh, who had come from the group Dr. Rocx & Co. (see above). This was perhaps the first of a long string of records to dis LL Cool J.

• Kydd Fresh would then go on to offer his own answer to LL; “It’s a Walkman,” which poked fun at LL’s “I Can’t Live Without My Radio.” Emcee Steady B also responded to this hit with “Take Your Radio,” in which he claimed to rob LL of his prized possession because “you was a sucker.”

• LL Cool J himself would soon afterward enter a long standing battle with emcee Kool Moe Dee.

• Hip-hop pioneer Kurtis Blow stepped in with a reference to both the Roxanne and Yvette battles in his 1986 track “I’m Chillin’,” which addressed the increasing amount of disrespect towards women in hip-hop songs.

• Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince answered their own “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble” with “Guys Ain’t Nothing But Trouble,” performed by a woman named Ice Cream Tee, who would be signed by [[Jazzy Jay]’s and Rocky Bucano’s Strong City Records.

• TLC’s 1999 song “No Scrubs,” which put down good-for-nothing men, was answered by the hip-hop group Sporty Theivz’ single “No Pigeons,” which similarly attacked women as being fake and leeching off of men. But unlike the other male-female battles, it was the women who insulted the men first, with them responding.

• Eamon’s 2003 song “Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back)” was answered in “F.U.R.B. (Fuck You Right Back)” by Frankee, who claimed to be Eamon’s ex.

• In 2007, U.T.F.O. appeared on Nas’ “Where Are They Now? [80s Remix],” in which Kangol Kid raps that his girlfriend of 20 years cheated on him: “she tried to take the house, the kids, the pots and pans … nigga fuck Roxanne!”