2017 Sundance favorite “Roxanne Roxanne” is finally getting a worldwide release. Soon after star Chanté Adams won the festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance, Neon acquired the feature for $3 million. However, it’s now making its debut on Netflix instead.
Set in Queens during the ’80s, the second feature from “Cronies” writer-director Michael J. Larnell charts the rise of real-life teenage rap prodigy Lolita “Roxanne Shanté” Gooden. With help from producer Marley Marl, Gooden wrote her first hit, “Roxanne’s Revenge,” a track some say was freestyled between laundry loads (it was later captured in a single take). The song was a response to U.T.F.O.’s “Roxanne, Roxanne” — which criticized a woman named Roxanne — and was ranked number 84 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the greatest songs in hip-hop history. Gooden went on to record three albums between 1989 and 1995.
“Moonlight” Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali plays Gooden’s love interest, a hustler named Cross who earns a tongue-lashing in the trailer from Gooden’s disapproving mother (Nia Long). Adam Horovitz — aka “Ad-Rock” from the Beastie Boys — also co-stars.
“Roxanne, Roxanne” arrives on Netflix March 23 and features music composed by Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA. Producers include Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi of “Fruitvale Station,” “Dope,” and “Sorry to Bother You.”
Watch the trailer below.