September 2 Update: Well, this sucks. A Slate investigation has concluded that Roxanne Shante’s story of her life after hip hop is pretty much all fake. Literally almost all of it. It’s mind-boggling.

Whoever drew up Roxanne Shante’s contract at Warner Music in 1984 probably figured he’d earned his bonus.

Shante, a 14-year-old MC from Queens, had a big hit that fall with “Roxanne’s Revenge,” an early hip-hop smash. But though the song sold hundreds of thousands of copies and Shante went on to make two albums for Warner, she never saw much in the way of royalties.

The one upside of her contract, from Shante’s perspective, was a clause committing Warner to pay all of her educational expenses … for life.

Warner most likely assumed that there wasn’t much chance they’d have to pay out much under that clause — Shante was a kid from the projects, and a single mom at 14. And when she did decide to go to college five years later, Warner gave her the run-around.

But Shante found an administrator at Marymount Manhattan College who was willing to give her a hand. Marguerita Grecco, Marymount’s dean, helped Shante to press Warner to make good, and let her take classes for free while she negotiated.

Warner eventually blinked after Shante threatened to go public, and the label wound up paying not only for her undergraduate schooling but also for the Cornell doctorate in Psychology that Shante earned in 2001. (All in all, they wound up paying out $217,000 for her educational expenses.)

Today Shante has a therapy practice serving the black community, owns an ice cream parlor in Queens, and funds a $5000 annual college scholarship for female rappers.

(Hat tips to PostBourgie and Hoyden About Town.)