All who have seen the blockbuster ‘Straight Outta Compton’ during its opening weekend definitely witnessed the strength of street knowledge. From start to finish, this F. Gary Gray-directed and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre-produced film truly lived up to the hype surrounding it. So much so, that members of the Academy are already looking at it as a possible contender for the 2016 Academy Awards.
The bopic that surrounds the powerful rise and fall of "the world’s most dangerous group”, N.W.A (N*ggas With Attitudes), was one that provided a deeper look into the lives of five men who wanted to show the world their harsh daily reality. Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr), Dr. Dre (Cory Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), MC Ren (Aldis Hodge), and DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.) were all natives of Compton, California. Compton has been one of the most infamous cities in America known for its violence. What the group wanted to light on most was the never-ending issue with police brutality and racial profiling within their community.
What the group ended up creating was a gripping, yet controversial statement that caused them to become quickly recognized. Their “reality rap” lyrics gave a glimpse into what it meant to be an African-American dealing with unwarranted hostility in their own neighborhood. Their lyrics were raw with no holds barred. So much to the point that the FBI threatened the group if they continued on performing songs such as, “F*ck Tha Police”. Of course, that did not intimidate them.
As we usually see with music groups, N.W.A’s short run in music reached its downfall once internal issues hit the surface. After a long time of intense conflict and thrown shade, the group made plans to reunite. Unfortunately, it never came to pass due to the untimely death of Eazy-E who was the group’s front man.
The most powerful part of the story is that ‘Compton’ provided a narrative that still speaks true to America’s reality almost 30 years later. This film could not have been released at a better time, especially with the tension surrounding the recent Black Lives Matter movement. It provided a history lesson, an emotional roller-coaster, a concert, comedic relief, and many moments of triumph. F. Gary Gray did an amazing job of humanizing men who were depicted by the media as a negative influence. Yes, they may have had a “gangsta” style and produced harsh lyrics, but that was their reality. That was where they came from, that’s all they knew. At the end of the day, they all remained true to themselves. That is what made them unique and authentic.
From the casting to the cinematography to the score, ‘Straight Outta Compton’ delivered. The film certainly earned every penny of the $56 million dollars that it brought in so far. If you have not yet seen the film, get to the movies ASAP! You have no idea what you’re missing!