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Roxanne, Roxanne (2017)


3/10: Couldn't finish it
Saturday, December 5, 2020

I grew up with this music. I remember when all the answer songs were coming out, all the kids would gather around a boombox on the playground to hear them. We'd listen to the latest ones back to back to hear the whole "story". For around a month, you heard Roxanne beef tracks all the time.The good ones were allowed to play - sometimes got a replay. The bad ones got booed. It a track was especially bad, someone hit the stop button and we moved on. There were beefs in the neighborhood and among us kids, but we'd never heard a beef played out in songs. Not on the level of Roxanne.So what does this film have to say about that short but intense cultural phenomenon? Almost nothing.This is a cookie cutter "overcoming, rising up" film, with paint-by-numbers misogyny, racism, poverty, sexual abuse, nobody believing in her dream, the list goes on. Everything...

6/10: Was the music not cleared
Sunday, March 25, 2018

I grew up near New York during the time of Roxanne's career. Shante was known for battling and, although not the first female MC, was the first I can remember doing a response record on wax that became popular. There were some good actors in the film and of course the person playing Shante and my future one day in my dreams baby mama Nia Long were great. Having said that, Shante to me was never a superstar such as an MC Lyte or Queen Latifah but that was more so because Shante was out earlier than those MCs and the state of rap was different during her reign for females. Having said all that, after watching this film with this abrupt ending I felt like something was missing. I thought her struggles with her mother, relationship, and Marley Marl were noted, but again something from this film was missing. Sure they showed other rappers at the time i...

1/10: What a let down
Sunday, March 25, 2018

I love hip-hop history, but very few films ever get it right, with the exception of Wild Style, Style Wars, and Beat Street, no other film captured the hip-hop scenes.And unfortunately, Roxanne Roxanne didn't break the legacy of any of those 3 films. It just didn't feel like they were living in the times of 80s from the clothes to the hairdos. it was more like the 70s.The lead girl was actually pretty good, but the directing wasn't very good. It was hard to figure out where they were sometimes and what they are doing and why, location and time wise. There was a failure by the writer to establish a good relationship. And the music was all off. Sometimes it felt the 80s, but then the music felt 70s and vice versa. The wrong wardrobes, which must have been done by people that didn't know the times, like the oversizes Adidas...

7/10: A Real Gem of a Biopic! Well Worth a Watch
Sunday, July 26, 2020

I first came across Roxanne Shanté in the 80's, it was the birth of Hip Hop and it seemed that every day a new star was being discovered. As a kid growing up in London Rappers, DJs, Break Dancers and Body Poppers were gods!Michael Larnell's film intelligently charts the struggles and challenges of Roxanne Shanté (Chanté Adams/Taliyah Whitaker) faces growing up in Queens, New York. I would have been happy if this film was just about Hip Hop. Instead however we're treated to a snapshot of story lines that neatly intertwine. Roxanne's mother Ms Peggy (Nia Long) acts as the trigger for a chain of events that force a young black teenage girl to make adult decisions in an adult's world. Her relationship with Cross (Mahershala Ali) compounds her sense conflict and adds to her torment.Along this journey of discovery and hustle Roxanne interacts with Managers, Promoters and Drug Dealers - where she...

7/10: Mostly well made, and somewhat involving
Friday, April 6, 2018

ROXANNE ROXANNE': Three and a Hals Stars (Out of Five)A Netflix original drama about a teenage girl in Queens, New York (during the 1980s), who had to fight to provide for her family, and defend herself on the streets, while also becoming a hip-hop legend at the same time (rapper Roxanne Shanté). The movie was written and directed by Michael Larnell (who also performed both duties on 2015's 'CRONIES'). It stars Chanté Adams, Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Nia Long, Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips and Shenell Edmonds. Forrest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams served as producers, and RZA did the music. The film was released by Netflix through it's streaming site. I found it to be mostly well made, and somewhat involving.The story begins in the New York Queensbridge Projects, in the early 1980s, when Lolita Gooden (Adams) was just a young teen. She had to struggle to support herself, and her family, and defend herself from...

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