So last night I finally went to see Straight Outta Compton which I’ve been super excited to watch since it was announced. As a massive fan of Hip-Hop, finding the inside stories of artists through biopics have always interested me, I’ve seen it with B.I.G’s Notorious, TLC’s CrazySexyCool, 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and of course Eminem’s 8 Mile. Now they can either be terrible like Aaliyah’s or a true reflection on how one became to be who they are today which is respectfully portrayed in this new N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton.
I was born in 1993 so N.W.A were around even before I was born, yet their music influenced some of my favourite rappers of today and boy am I thankful (e.g. Kendrick Lamar). It makes you realise why you fell in love with Hip-Hop in the first place, a catalyst of a raw art form that manages to translate how we feel – for example FUCK THE POLICE.
Their notable song was highlighted in the movie allowing us as viewers to understand what exactly they went through at the time and the struggles in which inspired the specific tune. A political issue that unfortunately still has not be tackled in America, even after all these years.
The film has received positive reviews and rightfully so. It demonstrates the group’s rise to rap fame revolutionizing hip-hop culture and music having come from one of the most dangerous cities in the West Coast – Compton, California. First up, let me give credit to the casting, the choice of actors were incredible. The actors playing each member of the group were exceptionally convincing that you almost felt it was actually the real people taking you back into history (does help that Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr portrayed him – they look exactly alike!).
It’s one of those films that will go down as a ‘classic’ and I say this because it exceeded expectations. Although it lacked in-depth character analysis – it’s difficult to fit everything in a couple hours I guess but it focused on N.W.A as a whole, as a collective which I think fans will appreciate more.
It allows us to witness how Dr. Dre emerged from his talent as a DJ to now becoming one of the greatest producers (and businessmen) alive. Cube’s poetry turning into legendary rap bars/verses as well as his reasoning departure from the group and the late Eazy-E’s transition from selling drugs, being a rapper and consequently diagnosed with HIV Aids. You get to also see MC Ren, DJ Yella, Suge Knight and Jerry Heller who all contributed to N.W.A’s road to success and downfall.
It’s a gangster lifestyle in the hood; so yes there’s definitely sex and violence but more importantly a lot of drama with elements of comedy and real emotion. I’d advice you to see it in the cinema, very entertaining and a nice tribute to E’s legacy.