WATCH: ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ Explores Ascent of Teenage Battle Rap Legend

By Sameer Rao Feb 22, 2018

Lolita “Roxanne Shanté” Gooden established a reputation as one of New York City’s most gifted battle rappers before she was old enough to vote.

"Roxanne Roxanne," a biopic that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, explores the Queens native’s rise and struggles. Netflix released the film’s first trailer today (February 22).

"Roxanne Roxanne" stars Chanté Adams ("Monsters and Men"), in her first feature lead role, as Shanté at age 14. According to Netflix, the film follows Shanté as she fights to provide for her family, build her underground reputation and avoid crime in the Queensbridge housing project where she lives. The trailer features scenes of Shanté arguing with her disciplinarian mother, Peggy Gooden (Nia Long, "Empire") and navigating a violent romance with the much older Cross (Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"). These clips play under audio of Shanté’s song "Def Fresh Crew."

Shanté is one of the movie’s executive producers. Other producers include Nina Yang BongioviMimi ValdesForest Whitaker and Pharrell Williams—all of whom previously produced "Dope." Michael Larnell ("Cronies") wrote and directed the film.

"Roxanne Roxanne" debuts on Netflix on March 23.