If you are a fan of action-packed, inspirational and exhilarating movies, Straight Outta Compton is for you. The 2015 biopic, portraying the lives of five artists from Compton, Calif., formerly known as N.W.A, has been the number one movie in America since its release on Aug. 14. Director F. Gary Gray captures the triumph and downfall of the group, who were destined for greatness. They made music that would ultimately bring a radical shift to culture while bruising America’s ego.
Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella forged the rap- that blazed their own path to stardom. N.W.A made their own rules as they went, forcing the public to observe the harsh realities that minorities faced.
Gray did a superb job casting the right actors for the movie. From Eazy E (Jason Mitchell) to Tupac (Marcc Rose) to Snoop Dog (Lakeith Standfield), each actor owned their role, perfecting the mannerisms and gestures of their predecessors. O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ice Cube’s biological son, did a fantastic job of representing his dad in the biopic, capturing Cube’s edge and signature scowl.
While their sound and swagger created a colossal fan base, it also created enemies The infamous songs “F the Police” and “Straight Outta Compton” reverberated throughout the country, putting the west coast on the map, and N.W.A on the FBI’S radar. They assumed N.W.A’s music would incite a rebellion against law enforcement, as noted in the movie. A self-made hip-hop gang from the Compton made music that blasted public officials. They made it a point to cause chaos and challenge the status quo. Yes, the content was controversial, violent and vicious, but it was also necessary. The world did not know what was going on in Compton, so these rappers took it upon themselves to speak for the unheard by addressing issues in an unfiltered style.
Telling the story of these hip-hop visionaries exposes the dark side of the rap game. The success came with trials. The constant presence of police brutality, money disputes and underhanded contract negotiations stunted the group’s growth as a whole. This boiled over to the point where the group split, resulting in a rap beef between friends (check out Ice Cube’s classic song “No Vaseline”).
The rise and fall of the renowned rap-gang is well documented. This movie is not only entertaining and packed with details, but most importantly, it is relevant. This biopic means something to this generation; it is timely and unique. Some of the same battles N.W.A faced are synonymous with what young adults face in the present. The youth can glean ideas as to how to approach injustices, as well as making a mark on the next generation.
Sure, N.W.A were defiant, brash and brutal, but they were real. They did not sugar coat anything and expressed themselves candidly, whether you liked it or not. N.W.A stayed true to themselves and their game plan. That’s something that can be appreciated and embraced in any setting. This movie forces you to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. It makes you uncomfortable with the stage of life you are operating in. Straight Outta Compton conveys the notion that anything is possible when you do what you love and say what you feel while being yourself without apology.
After watching the two hour and twenty-seven minute thriller, my only complaint is that it ended too soon. This movie is one for the ages. Go to a $5 afternoon matinee and check this out. Tell a friend to tell a friend. It’s an instant classic.
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