At just before 2 a. There was nothing slick about it: no hook or melody over the crunchy boom-bap beat -- just four straight minutes of rhyming from an MC who called herself Roxanne. He couldn't have been more wrong. Her hair is in a polished pouf echoing her formerly signature ponytail, and she wears a pink floral sweater and black leather leggings -- a sophisticated look punctuated with one hint at her heyday: a gold chain with a pendant of a man performing cunnilingus. These supporters would front the entry fee, and her mother would give them a commission after she inevitably won. She was still in middle school, and regularly winning against older boys -- and men. Some even insist that no beef -- on wax or off -- has since matched the Roxanne Wars. Though "you had to put a hanger on top of the antenna and make sure that it pointed the right way" to hear the show, according to producer Tyrone Williams no relation , Mr. But Magic took it to the airwaves and put it where everybody could hear it.
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In , Lolita Shante Gooden, a year-old from Queens, was on her way to do laundry when she became a hip-hop star. She freestyled some rhymes from the perspective of the girl in the song, punching back with force and style. The director, Michael Larnell, shows you the warts and all, but he nimbly steers clear of another cautionary tale about the evils of show business. Nor is this a superhero story with microphones and Adidas replacing utility belts and capes. The music is a backdrop for a gripping, often brutal story of the struggles of a girl growing up poor in Queens. Adams delivers a compassionate performance as a girl whose swagger and practicality hides a melancholy edge. Early scenes show Lolita resorting to petty crime to support her family and butting heads with her strict mother Nia Long , a compelling character who could use more screen time.
Her rapping abilities are a secret at this point in the story, only hinted at as a weapon of emasculation. The film works with a small budget by restricting the number of performing scenes, but those are moments in which it pops most, even when it shoehorns historical figures like a beatboxer named Biz Markie. But the music career becomes another example of how Larnell gets in the way, concerned most of all with blunt feminism than the rich story that supports it overall. The irony to the narrative being so chopped up is that the filmmaking does have great moments of editing, showing that Larnell's visual eye can be uniquely inspired. Both of these feminist stories have such reverence for their center subjects, but such a flat idea of their respective worlds, the people in them, and the great things these women did. Mahershala Ali as Cross. Nia Long as Ms. Peggy Gooden.
Roxanne Roxanne is a American drama film written and directed by Michael Larnell. The film revolves around the life of rapper Roxanne Shante. It was screened in the U. Dramatic Competition section of the Sundance Film Festival. In January , Neon acquired distribution rights to the film. The website's critical consensus reads, " Roxanne Roxanne belatedly honors its subject with a gripping character-driven biopic that serves as a primer for a trailblazing career while telling an often tragic story. On RogerEbert. Comparing the movie to David O. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Release date.