Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Forest Whitaker Producing New York 80s Hip Hop Feature “Roxanne Roxanne”


The Real Roxanne? In the 1980s she was everywhere.

Now Forest Whitaker is a co-producer of “Roxanne Roxanne,” a feature about the Roxanne hip hop wars of the 1980s in New York.

Michael Larnell will direct, and Whitaker is joined by Nina Yang Bongiovi, Mimi Valdés, and Erica Brady.

The story is all about 14 year old Roxanne Shante, who become a hip hop superstar. In her circle, and in the movie, will be actors playing Kurtis Blow, Biz Markie, a young Nas, and many other hip hop pioneers.

The real Roxanne was a girl named Lolita Shante Gooden, who became Roxanne Shante and recorded a response record to UTFO’s famous B side rap single “Roxanne Roxanne.” A bunch of answer records followed SHante’s “Roxanne’s Revenge” including another single called “The Real Roxanne” by a girl singer named Adelaide.

None of this had anything to do with the Police hit, “Roxanne.” But it did spawn an industry in early hip hop. Some say there were around 100 Roxanne response records. Done properly, this could be a funny, clever movie about the pioneer days of hip hop. It could be the “Straight outta Compton” for New York.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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