“Cruising down the street in my 6-4…”
Finish the lyrics. Regardless of age, class, gender or race, most of you can complete the rest of that line.
This is just a prime example of the limitless influence N.W.A. and its members had on the most controversial issues to come “Straight Outta Compton”.
Starring Jason Mitchell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Corey Hawkins, “Straight Outta Compton”, in two and a half hours, guadily depicts the rise and fall of legendary west coast rap group, N.W.A.
The movie is a perfect combination of your favorite west coast movies. The scenic block life of “Friday” (1995), the subtle intensity of “Fruitvale Station” (2013), and the hard-hitting group vigilante of “Set It Off” (1996). It’s doper than “Dope” (2015).
“Straight Outta Compton” is this summer’s best movie and F. Gary Gray’s best directorial attempt yet.
This film is almost not about music at all. As tensions brewed in Compton, CA and across the country between law enforcement and African Americans, it was N.W.A.’s monstrous melody like “F*** Da Police” that put a spotlight on the brutality and injustice. Their raw, raunchy lyrics gave the rest of the world a glimpse into their lives of gang, drugs, sex, and violence.
O’Shea Jackson Jr. is Ice Cube. Just a little lighter, but if we are comparing all of the actors to the actual people they are portraying, Ice Cube’s first born nailed it. He was so convincing, natural, and indomitable.
The most redemptive story to tell is that of lasting friendship and entrepreneurship. Even after the group’s dismemberment in 1991, they were able to reconcile before the 1995 passing of Eazy-E.
On the business side, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube continued as thriving artists, but branched off into other areas. Dr. Dre started Aftermath Entertainment, introducing the world to artists like Eminem and 50 Cent. Last year, Dre sold Beats by Dre, an audio products company, to Apple Inc. for $3 billion in a cash and stock deal.
As an actor, Ice Cube’s movies have grossed over $1.3 billion. His movie production company, Cube Vision, has over a dozen movies under its belt. He too has made a household name for himself that expands the confinements of gangsta rap.
Please do not end your summer without watching “Straight Outta Compton”.
This movie is an universal learning lesson and backdrop to similar dark times. The violent streets of Los Angeles, the turbulent relationship with LAPD, and NWA’s sense of lyrical expression looks all too much like the social rampage we’ve been on lately regarding the cases of Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, and Sam DuBose.