Killer Mike Pens A Heartfelt Tribute To Roxanne Shante & The Power Of Kindness

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This week (May 3) Killer Mike wrote a powerful open letter to one of his Hip-Hop heroes, Roxanne Shanté. “This is a photo from my grandmother’s photo album of me and my accomplishments and moments. This is an actual photo of a hero of mine. On a trip to [New York City], my mother told her cousins I was crazy about Rap, and a particular rapper. My mom told them about this teenage girl her son was going on and on about. He thought she was beautiful and fly. She was a dope-ass rapper! That lil’ boy who was all of nine or 10 said he could be a rapper too even tho he was from the South, and all rappers were from [New York, because] this girl was doing it and killing the guys,” Mike’s Instagram post begins.

The teen photographed on a bus, reportedly on her way to a local group home would turn out to be Roxanne Shanté. Since her adolescence, the fierce MC was an early and galvanizing force in the Juice Crew, alongside Mr. Magic and Marley Marl’s squad that eventually included Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, and Craig G, among others. Around her 1984 breakthrough run, Shanté learned about nine-year-old Michael Render’s infatuation. She reached out to the Rap hopeful. The Run The Jewels co-founder continues in his post, “That girl’s ‘God Mom’ of some sort (the streets give you family when yours fails you) was a friend of my mommy’s cousins, and when she heard about that kid who loved her she sent him her real photos and a signed album. Her photos were not press-shots, but rather film photos she had taken in the hood, and she sent those to a kid she never met who’s mom was a ‘dope girl’ running wild in [New York] chillin’. The lil’ boy loved and treasured them, and they affirmed his belief that he could be an MC as [tough] and dangerous as her on the mic.”

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Mike notes that he later discovered the truth behind Roxanne’s reality. “I never knew that lil’ girl/ God MC was enduring a hell filled life of pain and abuse. I never knew she had every reason to be mean and evil and selfish because the world was being that to her. She instead was kind, generous and giving to a child she never knew and left him inspiration in the form of truly personal gifts.”

 

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This is a photo from my grandmother’s photo album of me and my accomplishments and moments. This is an actual photo of a hero of mine. On a trip to NYC my mother told her cousins i was crazy about rap & a particular rapper. My mom told them about this teenage girl her son was going on & on about. He thought she was beautiful and fly. She was a dope ass rapper! That lil boy who was all of 9 or 10 said he cud be a rapper too even tho he was from the south and all rappers were from NYC, becuz this girl was doing it and killing the guys! That girl’s “God Mom” of some sort (the streets give u family when yours fails u) was a friend of my mommy’s cousins and when she heard about that kid who loved her she sent him her real photos and a signed album. Her photos were not press shots but rather film photos she had taken in the hood and she sent those to a kid she never met who’s mom was a Dope Girl running wild in NYC chillin. The lil boy loved and treasured them and they affirmed his belief that he cud be an Emcee as tuff and dangerous as her on the mic. I never knew that lil girl/ god emcee was enduring a hell filled life of pain and abuse. I never knew she had every reason to be mean and evil and selfish becuz the world was being that to her. She instead was kind, generous and giving to a child she never knew and left him inspiration in the form of truly personal gifts. Today I sent a pic of that photo to @imroxanneshante and thanked her for what she did for Denise’s son Michael. He became and emcee and becuz of her kindness he remained kind and tried to inspire others till this day. They cried and laffed and big up’d one another! Thank U @imroxanneshante u are forever my hero, my idol, my Queen Emcee! I owe u such a debt of gratitude and will always be a call away when needed. On behalf of my late mother Denise and the 9 yr old me Thank U Queen. Sincere love & respect from a fellow emcee. Thank U now and forever and always! #ForTheCulture #UTheGreatest #CompetitionisNone #QueensReignSupreme #YourKindnessInATimeOfTramaInspired #YourShowingLovePlantedASeed #ILoveAndRespectUBigSis #OnGodandGoddessUBlessed #ItAintJustNasirUispired #UBlessedUsAll #NoCap

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Coming upon the photo album, Mike notes that he sent the image to Roxanne with another memento of gratitude for her warmth and goodwill, and the final story of how the picture was received. “Today I sent a pic of that photo to [Roxanne Shanté] and thanked her for what she did for Denise’s son, Michael. He became and MC, and because of her kindness, he remained kind and tried to inspire others till this day. They cried and laughed and big-upped one another! Thank you [Roxanne], you are forever my hero, my idol, my Queen MC! I owe you such a debt of gratitude and will always be a call away when needed. On behalf of my late mother Denise and the nine-year-old old me, thank you, Queen. Sincere love and respect from a fellow MC. Thank you now, and forever, and always!”

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Killer Mike, three years removed from his latest Run The Jewels album, Run The Jewels 3, has recently made waves on the small screen with season one of his Netflix series, Trigger Warning With Killer Mike.

2017 biopic, Roxanne, Roxanne, followed the trials and tribulations of 14-year-old Roxanne Shanté as she went on to make Rap history. Available on Netflix, the film is produced by Forest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams.