Director: F. Gary Gray
Producers: Tomica Woods-Wright, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre | (The writers worked with Tomica Woods-Wright, who was Eazy E’s wife.)
Cast: O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr.
In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture.
In the mid-late 80s, ‘Gangsta’ Rap was not my thing. Thanks to my brother and the pirates, I’d been fine-tuned on Hip Hop, British Soul, Rare Grooves, Jazz Funk and American House and Garage. So I knew very little about NWA. But when I received the invite to see the film, ‘Straight Outta Compton’, I cancelled my plans, sent my apologies and was in there like a shot
‘Why?’ you might ask? Well, one of my favourite kinds of film, is a film with a music theme! Doesn’t matter the music genre, the person, the group, or the circumstance – I find them enlightening, and inspiring, and it was no different with this film.
Straight Outta Compton is NWAs story, from foundation to current day, with Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, The D.O.C., DJ Yella and MC Ren. You see how they started, their first record, and manager Jerry Heller. You hear the tracks, and see the live shows, and portrayals of Suge Knight, Tupac, and Snopp Dogg.
I believed that I didn’t know NWA tracks at the start of the film, that I hadn’t really heard that many NWA tracks, I mean, I was an original hip hop girl. I moved, I changed, but original it was all about hip hop from the early 80s, but NWA? I’d missed that ship! I was wrong! I knew so many of the tracks, and it was a boon to hear them and make the connections.
There is not a dull moment in this film. Excellent acting, laughter, lyrics and tears! Yes, the film even had me crying – next level bawling…if I’m going to cry in the cinema, I like to keep it silent, no sound, just tears, but with this film, a sound escaped… that level of bawling! I left the cinema on a high! I felt blessed. I know I’m totally biased about music films, but this I enjoyed, I just enjoyed it right down to my toes. By that I mean, I loved every bit of it! I couldn’t recommend it high enough. This is worth seeing, a film you could watch again and again.
But remember, this is a film BASED on their story, it’s NOT a documentary. I’ll leave the required pinch of salt below. 😉 #YaHearMe
Out: Friday 28th August 2015
Ps. I loved this BBC Radio 4 Profile on Dr Dre.