It seems that online magazine Slate Magazine takes the ideals of journalism more seriously than the Daily News, which ran a story celebrating lies old-school rapper Roxanne Shante has spread over the last decade about receiving a PH.D from Cornell University. In this digital age, Slate used old-fashion methods of fact checking that apparently slipped the mind of Daily News writer, Walter Dawkins.
An investigation by Slate has revealed:
- According to Warner, neither it nor any of its subsidiary record labels ever had a contract with Shanté, and it was not obligated to pay for her education. Indeed, there’s no evidence that it ever did.
- Shanté—real name Lolita Shanté Gooden—doesn’t have a Ph.D. from Cornell or anywhere else. Indeed, she admitted it in an interview with Slate. And Cornell has no record of Gooden (or “Shanté”) ever attending or receiving a degree.
- According to Marymount Manhattan College records, Shanté enrolled there but dropped out less than four months later without ever earning a degree.
- New York state records indicate that no one named Lolita Gooden or Roxanne Shanté is licensed to practice psychology or any related field.
With more recent female rappers Lil Kim, Remy Ma, Da Brat and Foxy Brown spending time in jail for various forms of “keeping it gangsta,” Roxanne Shante’s fraudlent story was thought to be a point of inspiration for young women and men seeking to find purpose beyond rap. While working on my thesis documentary Little Miss Hip Hop, I briefly spoke with Roxanne Shante who said she would be up for an interview and speaking at the University at Buffalo about opportunities for women in hip hop. However, I never heard from Roxanne Shante after I explained that I wanted to set up an interview at her office and I wanted her to share information about her practice. I thought that I was just being dissed, when in reality Roxanne Shante was avoiding the truth.