Roxanne Roxanne

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Roxanne Roxanne

In 1984, Lolita Shante Gooden, a 14-year-old from Queens, was on her way to do laundry when she became a hip-hop star.

A producer stopped her and asked if she would rap over some beats from “Roxanne Roxanne,” a hit by UTFO about a girl who wouldn’t respond to a guy’s advances. She freestyled some rhymes from the perspective of the girl in the song, punching back with force and style. Her song, “Roxanne’s Revenge,” became a hit, and Lolita transformed into Roxanne Shante, one of the first female hip-hop stars.

“Roxanne Roxanne” marries a traditional hip-hop biopic, a form long dominated by male rappers, with a more idiosyncratic and deeply felt slice of life. A vivid and unusually honest drama about the pain and bravado that were the fuel of hip-hop.

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