By: Jinni Dawood
Director F. Gary Gray takes us on a trip back in time in this extremely honest biopic. The lives of N.W.A’s (Niggas With Attitude) hip hop group are played brilliantly by O’Shea Jackson Jr as his father Ice Cube, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E and Corey Hawkins as Dr Dre.
The movie is titled after N.W.A’s debut studio album Straight Outta Compton. The actors play their roles so well, you forget it’s a movie
If you are a fan of rap music then you will love this movie. Although some of the songs were written and produced in the ’80s, they are still dope. The beats produced by Dr Dre are sick! The lyrics written by Ice Cube were insanely good. Most of the time when I was watching this movie, I was obliviously bobbing my head to the music and using my hands as drum sticks on my knees. The music scenes look like live music video performances. At some point I forgot I was watching a movie. I am a big fan of lyricism, and the lyrics in this movie have their own voice. Like Cube said during one of the interviews in the movie, “our art is the reflection of our reality”. Just by listening to the music in this movie, I am converted, I think I might just get myself the album.
When we think hip hop, we think Lil Wayne, Rick ROSS, Drake and Nicky Minaj, we think that it is all about money, fast cars, gold chains and luxurious houses. Nowadays, Hip hop culture is gentrified, it is cleaned up to make it look pristine. However, hip hop culture is undressed in this movie, showing the battle scars against the skin of a young black man. It presents a side of hip hop that is overlooked: the struggling, hustling, and grinding till you make it. The guns, drugs and gang violence side that have been swept under the carpet are just a couple of things that are part of hip hop culture. Police brutality and dishonesty is clearly depicted in most of the scenes. Straight Outta Compton shows us that it is not all about luxury. It is about family, trust and fighting for what you believe in. The reality of hip hop culture is pretty much exposed in this movie.
“This is LAPD. I am the only gangster around here.” These are the words of one of the black police men in the movie. The film presents a side of America that is almost never seen on screen. Showing the real truth about how police treat minority citizens every day in America. Cube wrote the song ‘Fuck The Police’ because of police injustice. In the movie we see N.W.A perform this track even after they are warned not to, because well, fuck the police!
Straight Outta Compton is a compelling story, with great acting, honesty and riveting direction. It is a bit long but it doesn’t get tiresome, because you will be talking to the screen most of the time. You will enjoy this movie, check it out.