Straight Outta Compton Review

straight outta compton

Who can forget the first time they heard “Straight Outta Compton” in the late eighties and early nineties. The NWA sound and look was like nothing ever seen before. One group and one track put a whole state on the Hip Hop map. Now comes the bio picture “Straight Outta Compton” which tells the story of the birth of NWA. The movie starts off in L.A. with the leader of NWA, Easy E, (Erik Wright) played by Jason Mitchell doing a drug deal in a stash house until LAPD comes through and tears the house apart. As Easy escapes over the rooftop, Ice Cube played by O’Shea Jackson is writing rhymes on a school bus, which turns into a horrendous ride home, and Dr. Dre played by Corey Hawkins is chilling to music in his mom’s house. The three will provide vital roles in creating NWA, and changing Hip Hop music.

As the story goes Dr Dre had to leave his mom’s house and work as a local deejay in order to create his music. Along the way he enlists his friends Easy E to help fund his plan and Ice Cube to write the rhymes for the talent. When his first vision doesn’t come to fruition Dr Dre gets the idea to use Easy E as the group’s figure head and main artist. Even though Easy is first reluctant but with Dr. Dree’s encouragement he goes in the booth and repeats the lines “Cruisin down the street in my 64”. The rest is history. The groups big break came when they released the track “Boyz-n-the-Hood” which gave them a huge street buzz. Following a meeting with Jerry Heller played by Paul Giamatti, Ruthless Records was formed.

The director F. Gary Gray tries his best to explore the climate that created NWA, that created track “F@$k the Police” and the things that lead to the L.A. Riots. In the back drop a motorist name Rodney King is assaulted and beaten by police in LA. The police brutality theme is played out through out the movie but in small doses.

Unlike other Hip Hop bios pictures the process of creating an album is left hanging. The studio scenes are not very long. Movies like “Hustle and Flow” and “Get Rich or Die Tryin” do a better job of displaying the inspiration for the tracks but the music does propel the movie and add to many scenes. The “F@$k tha Police” stage performance in Detroit showcases the group and their fans’ defiant and rebellious attitude.

ice cube Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson looks and sounds so much like his dad you feel you’re watching a young Cube on the scene. Most of the acting is pretty solid but there are few lines that feel out of place.

I didn’t know what to expect from “Straight Outta Compton.” I wasn’t sure if it would be semi factual like “Notorious” or straight fiction like “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.” The movie tells the strong story on the birth of NWA. The movie also goes beyond NWA’s prime and touches on stuff after the groups split. The three main characters girl friends even get into the mix.

Ice Cube and Dr. Dre are still in the public’s eye, and with today’s climate with death of Mike Brown and Black Lives Matter mirrored what was going in the nineties. With that said “Straight Outta Compton” will not only appeal to Hip Hop fans of the ’90 but to a new generation of fans and movie goers.