Rap pioneer Roxanne Shanté shares a story about being the first teen mom in Hip-Hop history and doesn’t shy away from several bad decisions she made as a 15-year-old with her first son, Kareem.
On the premiere episode of her “Have A Nice Podcast” series, entitled “Where’s the F##k is the Baby, Roxanne Shanté talks about taking her 17-day old baby on tour and enlisting the late Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, and others to babysit the newborn.
She said, “1986, I’m Roxanne Roxanne. Life is good, but it is complicated because I’m a teen and I just became a teen mom. I became a teen mom ten days after my [15th] birthday.”
After having the baby, she had to perform at a show and she took the baby, despite doctors recommending that the baby not be around people until six weeks. Taking the baby on tour became so common, that the Juice Crew (who were all young guys at the time) became comfortable traveling with and caring for the child.
During that first show, when it was her time to rock the mic during the show she let “The Diabolical” hold the baby. But when it was Biz’ turn …
“When I go on stage, because I had just had this new little human, I had this feeling that I needed to see him,” she recalled. “I felt like I had to have eye contact with whoever was holding him. If I was on stage, Biz is holding him. If I am on stage, then Shan is holding him. If I am on stage then Kool G. Rap is holding him or DJ Polo is holding him.”
“I go on stage and I knew I handed the baby to Biz. So Biz is holding the baby, but then it is my turn to start rhyming with Biz … As I am saying my rhymes, I look at Biz and say ‘Where’s the f##k is the baby?’” she shares.
Biz apparently shrugs his shoulders at her, as to say, “I don’t know.” She shrugs back like, “What do you mean?” The crowd mimics them thinking that this is a part of the routine and a new dance. Biz tells her the baby is with DJ Polo. She looks over and sees Polo with the baby and all is well.
At a certain point, she turns back at Polo and the baby is gone. She says in the mic, during the middle of her set, “Where’s the f##k is the baby?” The audience, jamming to the concert repeats her, “Where’s the f##k is the baby?” They thought it was a chant.
She gets more upset because no one knows where her 17-day-old child is and she repeats in the mic, “Where’s the f##k is the baby?” and the crowd again repeats her like was a part of the show.
The performance had her in an emotional state, and she remembers feeling kind of funny. Biz says to her, “You are sweating from your shirt.” She wasn’t. Whether it was the rush of performing or the worry about her baby, the new mom was lactating and expressing milk in front of an audience.
Eventually, she found the baby in the green room with other members of the Juice crew, G Rap, and Polo.
The “Go On Girl” pioneer also reveals that after a woman told her that all babies could swim, she threw her son in a pool on tour and quickly found out that was true. She and other members of the Juice Crew jumped in the water and saved the baby.
Wonder how Kareem, aka Chuckie, turned out? He is now one of the leads in her production and enterprise.