“I started a career in hip hop that spanned over 35 years,” says rap legend Roxanne Shanté. “All because—clean underwear.” The Queensbridge native was just 14 years old when she recorded “Roxanne’s Revenge” for DJ Marley Marl on her way to the neighborhood laundromat. She finished her seven-minute freestyle just in time to get her laundry out of the dryer. The record would go on to become a massive hit, answering UTFO’s “Roxanne Roxanne” and setting off the legendary “Roxanne Wars”—even inspiring another artist to call herself “The Real Roxanne.” But in this exclusive interview MASS APPEAL meets the real Roxanne Shanté, the woman whose extraordinary life and career inspired the film ‘Roxanne Roxanne’—produced by Pharrell Williams, Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, and Mimi Valdés—which premieres on Netflix March 23. “I want every little girl somewhere to look at my story and feel it’s her story,” says Shanté, Check out the interview right now and get ready to experience ‘Roxanne Roxanne.’
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What started as a humble graffiti ‘zine in 1996 would soon grow to be one of the most trusted outlets for youth-spawned urban culture. Today, Mass Appeal is a media collective led by authentic voices and inspired minds. They are a platform for radical creatives who are transforming culture.