Shante came to prominence at the tender age of 14 via her related answer record to U.T.F.O.'s 1984 rap hit, ' Roxanne, Roxanne'. Gooden was walking outside a New York housing project when she overheard three men discussing U.T.F.O.'s cancellation of a show they were promoting. In turn gooden offered them a reply record. The onlookers, DJ Mister Magic, Tyrone Williams and Marley Marl took her up on the offer.
Her version 'Roxanne's Revenge' mixed sassy, indignant raps with a funky backbeat. It was a massive hit, which sold over a quarter of a million copies in the New York area alone, and spawned a flood of answerback records (well over a hundred at the final count), as rappers queued to take up the challenge. U.T.F.O. replied by sueing her for using their b-side as the rhythm track.
Shante was still only 14 years old, and forced to stay away form school because of all the attention. Her arrival was cemented by further singles 'Have A Nice Day' and 'Go On Girl', produced by Marley Marl, with lyrics penned by Big Daddy Kane. Her debut album saw the conscious rhymes of songs like 'Independent Woman' (though it was written for her by a man) spliced by saucy narratives like 'Feeling Kinda Horny'.
By 1986, Shante was being edged from the centre of the female rap stage by The Real Roxanne (Adelaida Martinez) and her turntable wizard Hitman Howie Tee. Perhaps her most infamous post-'Roxanne' moment came with the release of 'Big Mama', which would see her take out her frustrations by dissing other female rappers Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Yo Yo and Monie Love.