Movie Review: 'Surviving Compton' lets Michel'le Tell Her Story

Michel'le and Dr. Dre (AP File Photos)
Michel’le and Dr. Dre (AP File Photos)

Dr. Dre got a chance to tell his rags-to-riches story in the 2015 blockbuster “Straight Outta Compton”. But, according to singer and ex-lover Michel’le, he conveniently left her out. The film also failed to mention his aggressive, drunk behavior as an abuser and habitual cheater.
It is now Michel’le’s turn to set the record straight in Lifetime’s biopic, “Surviving Compton”, which premiered this past Saturday. Played by Rhyon Nicole Brown, Michel’le rose to fame in the late 1980s as the first lady of Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. In the film, Michel’le narrated two painful relationships with N.W.A. member Dr. Dre and Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight.
After watching the film, some are questioning the validity of her accounts. No one seemed to question Suge Knight’s abuse. But, everyone wants to know how true are her stories about Dr. Dre, the man who brought us Eminem and good quality headphones.
We have painted such a pretty picture of Dr. Dre. Maybe accepting Michel’le side is so conflicting because her own picture is far from pleasing.
I was not surprised when my Facebook timeline was filled with shut hatred towards the movie and Michel’le’s version. It is as if the norm is to further victimize the victim.
Let Michel’le live. She had the courage to tell her side of the story. I am sure she spilled her own tea with the hopes to give another domestic violence sufferer a glimmer of faith.
Nate Parker was crucified for a rape that our judicial system say he did not commit. Nobody touched a hair on Dr. Dre’s head when his major biopic was released, even after many women, including Michel’le, claimed he was abusive.
And yeah, I’m still on this Nate Parker “Birth of a Nation” kick because he was slammed without hesitation. While society still widely accepts other alleged rapists and abusers like Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Woody Allen, and your beloved Ben Roethlisberger.
Where do you draw the line on the credibility of rape or domestic abuse?
Michel’le told her story. Let her live. Whether there were exaggerations or embellishments, it’s not up to us to play detective or vilify her for her truths.
Thankfully, these Lifetime movies are getting better. The women’s network and VH1 caught a real bad rap for the biopics. R&B legends like Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, and Toni Braxton all had to settle for the cheap version of their stories. “Surviving Compton” was promising though. There’s hope after all for the made for TV biopics.
Merecedes J. Howze, Movie Scene Queen (Brian Cook/Golden Sky Media)
Merecedes J. Howze, Movie Scene Queen (Brian Cook/Golden Sky Media)


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