Update << SPOILER ALERT>>
Whew, where do I start? I had a chance to check out Netflix’s Roxanne Roxanne. I walked away learning more than I expected. Hat’s off to Lolita Gooden (Roxanne Shante), she endured what could have broken many. Nia Long also did the darn thing as Miss Peggy, Roxanne’s mom. She stayed that role.
Roxanne Shante is hands down the First Lady of Rap. It’s interesting though how male rappers have an overwhelming representation in the rap industry compared to women. Also considering the fact that, women have been in the game just as long as men. During the movie, Shante referenced quitting rap because there was no money it. I thought about many of her male peers that started after her – some are still in the game making money. Even if some used their rap fame to start other ventures, they still rap or remain part of the hip hop culture. Although, only 14 years of age when she started her career the support system in place for men, does not appear to be there for women.
It was also interesting to note the sharp turn in female MC’s and their appearance. Early female MC’s like Roxanne Shante sported the dope fly girl look. You wanted to be them, Chante Adams (Roxanne Shonte) sold it well in the movie. I had an instant flash back. The large hoop earrings and bobs with feathered bangs were great moments in fashion. While you appreciated their fashion, you appreciated their lyricism even more. Female MC’s began to embrace the “sex sales” message, primarly hyped by male managers and producers, the change in styling became very evident.
Roxanne’s relationship with her mom was very interesting. What stood out to me was how parents unknowingly shape their daughters attitudes towards men. After Roxanne’s dad takes the money for their new home downpayment and abandons the family, her mom returned to drinking and basically checked out for a period of time. I firmly believe that this experience along with another impacted Roxanne and her attitude towards men. I was reminded that as parents we have to be mindful of what we expose our children to while in relationships.
I learned so much about Roxanne Shante and have a new level of admiration for her. She was a teen mom with a dream; a domestic violence survivor, a dope and fearless MC, and a wonderful advocate for young women. She is still very much respected in the hip hop community and finally getting the true recognition that she deserves. She is a rap pioneer.
Yooooo!!! The real hip hop heads out there already know who the real Roxanne is. If there is one female rap artist deserving of the title “First Lady of Rap”; it’s her. She came out on vinyl – just know that. I remember writing a blog post a while back about my love and hate for hip hop culture throughout the years and one of the websites that I referenced in the piece, had some footage of Roxanne Shante performing “Dance to This” in concert from back in the day. I lost it! She is truly a dope lyricist.
To have the opportunity to get to know the person behind the music is really special; the Roxanne Shante Biopic will give us that opportunity. Often times, we are so enamored with the person on stage, but have no idea was they had to go through to get there. The biopic was featured during last year’s Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to be released on Netflix.
If I was a betting woman, I would bet that the biopic is going to be a good one. Considering the fact that, the producers of Fruitville Station and Dope are on this project (Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi). The cast includes our bae from Moonlight, Mahershala Ali, the never aging Nia Long and Chante Adams (Roxanne Shante) Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips and Shenell Edmonds.
Through film, they share the story of a very young Lolita Shante Gooden, better known as, Roxanne Shante’s life and her climb to fame. The trailer has me hooked y’all. Will you watch?