Hip-hop pioneer DR. ROXANNE SHANTE has hit out at her former music bosses - insisting they tried to backtrack on an agreement to finance her college education.
The female MC quit rap shortly after the success of her 1984 smash single Roxanne's Revenge.
She left Warner Music aged 19 with a clause in her contract in which the company agreed to fund her education for life - an agreement she is convinced bosses doubted she would follow through on.
The former rapper now boasts an undergraduate degree from Marymount Manhattan College and a PhD in psychology she earned in 2001 from New York's prestigious Cornell University, which cost the label $217,000 (£144,670).
But she has now hit back at her former bosses, insisting she was forced to conspire with school officials to finally get music executives to sign off on the bill.
Shante tells the New York Daily News, "This is a story that needs to be told. I'm an example that you can be a teenage mom, come from the projects, and be raised by a single parent, and you can still come out of it a doctor. Everybody was cheating with the contracts, stealing and telling lies. And to find out that I was just a commodity was heartbreaking. They kept stumbling over their words, and they didn't have an exact reason why they were telling me no."
The 38 year old has since launched her own therapy practice, and offers $5,000 (£3,330) college scholarships each semester to female rappers through the non-profit Hip Hop Association.
But she admits her hip-hop background has helped her connect to her clients: "People put such a taboo on therapy, they feel it means they're going crazy. No, it doesn't. It just means you need someone else to talk to. They can't really let loose and enjoy life. So I just let them unlock those doors."