Last year, I spoke to Wu Tang Clan founder RZA, who composed the music for ROXANNE ROXANNE, a film that got some attention at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival for Chanté Adams’ performance as pioneering hip-hop star Roxanne Shanté in the film. Adams even released a special jury prize for her breakthrough performance. I asked RZA if he knew what was going on with the film which had been picked up by Neon in a bidding war (he didn’t).
Apparently, Netflix has jumped on the biopic with plans to release it on March 23. The streaming network has released the first trailer with the release date announcement, which you can watch below.
It’s no surprise that someone at Netflix would want the hip-hop biopic considering the network released Baz Luhrman’s The Get Down, a history of New York hip-hop in the late ’70s. I personally didn’t get to see the movie at Sundance, but the trailer makes it look like another strong offering from Netflix with a strong cast around Adams, including Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight).
The film also stars Nia Long, , Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips, Shenell Edmonds and former Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz.
Roxanne Roxanne is written and directed by Michael Larnell (Cronies) and produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi, Mimi Valdes, Forest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams. Executive producers are Michael Y. Chow, Michael Shen and Roxanne Shanté herself.
The synopsis for the film is:
In the early 1980s, the most feared battle MC in Queens, New York, was a fierce teenage girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders. At the age of 14, Lolita “Roxanne Shanté” Gooden was well on her way to becoming a hip-hop legend as she hustled to provide for her family while defending herself from the dangers of the streets of the Queensbridge Projects in NYC.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor