roxanne_shante

Honestly I didn’t know there was anybody who didn’t know this story. Maybe I watch too many VH1 Behind the Musics, but this has been repeated dozens of times. But I never get sick of it!!!

Roxanne was able to make her former record label pay for her education all the way through to her Ph.D. b/c of a clause stating they would fund her education for life. The total cost to Warner Music was $217,000. Haha!! (c) Of course, it wasn’t easy.

But getting Warner Music to cough up the dough was a battle.

“They kept stumbling over their words, and they didn’t have an exact reason why they were telling me no,” Shante said.

She figured Warner considered the clause a throwaway, never believing a teen mom in public housing would attend college. The company declined to comment for this story.

Shante found an arm-twisting ally in Marguerita Grecco, the dean at Marymount Manhattan College. Shante showed her the contract, and the dean let her attend classes for free while pursuing the money.

“I told Dean Grecco that either I’m going to go here or go to the streets, so I need your help,” Shante recalls. “She said, ‘We’re going to make them pay for this.'”

Grecco submitted and resubmitted the bills to the label, which finally agreed to honor the contract when Shante threatened to go public with the story.

Shante earned her doctorate in 2001, and launched an unconventional therapy practice focusing on urban African-Americans – a group traditionally reluctant to seek mental health help.

“People put such a taboo on therapy, they feel it means they’re going crazy,” she explained. “No, it doesn’t. It just means you need someone else to talk to.”

Shante often incorporates hip-hop music into her sessions, encouraging her clients to unleash their inner MC and shout out exactly what’s on their mind.

“They can’t really let loose and enjoy life,” she said. “So I just let them unlock those doors.”

Shante, 38, is also active in the community. She offers $5,000 college scholarships each semester to female rappers through the nonprofit Hip Hop Association.

She also dispenses advice to young women in the music business via a MySpace page.

“I call it a warning service, so their dreams don’t turn into nightmares,” she said. [SOURCE]

Advertisements