Straight Outta Compton is set surrounding the lives of Eazy-E” (Jason Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.). While so much focus today is placed on pop music, the movie brings us back to a time when rap or as many liked to call it “gangsta rap” was the voice of the people. Directed by F. Gary Gray, the film goes beyond just being a music biography.
Starting in 1988 in Compton, Ca, the story lays the foundation of how N.W.A. (N**** With Attitude) was formed which included members, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, and MC Ren. The story follows the journey of the main characters vision to be the voice of the reality of where they came but to do better than their surroundings. Of course with success comes problems, elements such as being used creates tension and conflict. Slowly but surely the group falls apart and we witness the rise and fall of N.W.A. as a group and the struggles of the men as individuals in the music business.
The irony is watching the parallelism of race and police brutality with then and now. One of the most dynamics scenes is when the city of Los Angeles is awaiting the verdict of the Rodney King beating and upon hearing the news the LA Riots breaks out. On a deeper level one can reflect on present time and see the similarities of reactions to verdicts stemming from the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. There are other dynamic scenes but may be more relatable to those who grew up in Compton and South Central Los Angeles during this time to fully understand and recall the impact of gangs, drugs, police brutality, and the rise of these local heros.
Overall, Straight Outta Compton gives highs and lows throughout the film that will have one laughing, crying, and moved. You have your good guys and villains and sometimes they flip the script on you in the film. Though some of the actors looks may not be exact of those they are portraying, it’s the persona and swagger of each individual that stays true. Straight Outta Compton is worth seeing.