By: N.W.A. contributor/ Nycole Hutchens
When it comes to biopics, honesty and a true reflection of the story that is being told including an accurate almost spot on portrayal of characters are just some elements that a movie-goer looks for in “epic” non-fiction story telling.
“Straight Outta Compton” tells a story with sincerity, honesty and “spot-on” portrayals that make you feel you are watching a documentary with “edge.”
The story follows five ambitious young men from Compton, C.A., eager to express their experiences in the streets of Compton fearlessly and unapologetically through their music as the appropriately titled rap group N.W.A (Niggas with Attitude).
Group members were portrayed by Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), Aldis Hodge (MC Ren), Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E), Neil Brown Jr. (DJ Yella) and O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Ice Cube). We followed the story of the powerhouse group from humble beginnings to the height of their career, creating a mass following and selling out salacious records.
At first we are caught off guard with (for those not familiar with N.W.A) hardcore, aggressive, explicit lyrics and the approach of the group.
It’s not until the “last straw” occurs and the members of N.W.A are harassed by L.A.P.D outside of their recording studio for no apparent reason. After a brief uproar, Ice Cube is emotionally fired up and gets back into the studio igniting his understandable frustration that is transpired through a verse in a song that becomes the title, “F*** tha Police”. After a successful run of their single “F*** tha Police,” the group gets more than what they bargained for when they are approached by their manager Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) with a “warning” letter from the F.B.I slandering the group’s use of freedom of speech citing it “dangerous” and condoning violence.
After many threats by the F.B.I. and L.A.P.D [Spoiler Alert]: a live performance in Detroit goes awry when Ice Cube goes against the cops’ wishes for performing “F*** Tha Police,” a riot breaks out after cops and FBI agents crash the stage during N.W.A.’s performance.
N.W.A raises the bar and narrows in on the narrative of the impact of music and police brutality in the black community, particularly against black males (a subject all too familiar) and at the forefront of every news source in America. It also opens our minds to identify if freedom of speech is violated or completely justified.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, who is known for his work in music videos, certainly did his “due diligence” in a biopic that could have shamefully gone awry without the backbone of the real life members Dr. Dre. and Ice Cube, who also serve as co-producers in the film.
Straight Outta Compton is flawlessly told through the point of view of the most notorious rap group in history bringing truth, courage and unapologetic “gangsta” through art that doesn’t miss a beat.
Straight Outta Compton hit theaters Friday, August 14.