Even for someone like me who’s more or less the same age as hip hop, it’s hard now to imagine the early days, when even people who saw money couldn’t imagine millions of dollars. When it was a neighborhood thing and not a worldwide culture. ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ does an excellent job of reminding you of the origins and a lot more.
If you don’t know the story of one of the first women of hip hop, this movie is a nice introduction. Aided by performances from Nia Long and Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali (I’ll never get tired of saying that), ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ shines most as it reminds of the additional hurdles a female MC had to (has to?) overcome on top of trying to get ahead in a male dominated industry. Need muscle when someone tries to screw you out of money? Have a baby? Just to name two. The hip hop lover in me also loved the fairly organic way some other names of hip hop were integrated into the story without taking it over (Marley Marl, UTFO of course, Biz Markie, and another young kid from Queensbridge by the name of Nasir…)
Definitely worth seeing if you’re a hip hop historian. Now streaming on Netflix.