Straight Outta Compton is origin story of the legendary rap group N.W.A. Five men who came together in 1986 to form a Hip-Hop group, not knowing that they were about to change musical history.
Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella ignited a spark that could not be put out. Once lit a revolution began, transforming rap music forever.
Thanks to their brutally honest lyrics NWA skyrocketed to fame, making them one of the most controversial bands of all time. Their rhymes perfectly captured the anger and frustration that young black Americans felt in the 1980s. The D.O.C joined the group later on helping to create even more hit records.
After the success of their first single, Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” unscrupulous music insider Jerry Heller negotiates a deal with N.W.A and is hired to be their manager.
He sees potential in them and after witnessing the reaction that they evoke in their crowds, knows that he’s onto something big. You can literally see the dollar signs in his power-hungry eyes.
So it’s no surprise when Priority Records sign the band, giving them the chance to create their first album, Straight Outta Compton.
We’re shown how the band got together, their rise to stardom, eventual solo careers and then the bitter end. The soundtrack alone justifies the ticket price, including N.W.A. hits like “Express Yourself” and “Fuck Tha Police”. It’s like listening to an old skool hip-hop album that you didn’t realise you loved so much.
When Straight Outta Compton was released N.W.A unintentionally started a movement against prejudice black Americans faced. They became a voice for those too afraid to speak out against the police brutality that they suffered on a daily basis.
When the group decided to fight back with their record “Fuck Tha Police” they were just vocalising what many were thinking. They stood up for those that couldn’t and ended up changing history forever.
Straight Outta Compton accurately depicts how N.W.A bravely stood up to the authorities that try to silence them. This isn’t a tale of oppression; instead it’s one of triumph.
However N.W.A’s story is somewhat biased however as it was produced by Ice Cube and Dr.Dre so these two members of the crew get the most limelight including ending on promotional note for the duo. But saying that it is a captivating insight into what was once considered the world’s most dangerous group.
The standout star of this movie for me was O’Shea Jackson Jr. who played Ice Cube. His portrayal of the rapper was spot on, from his mannerisms to his voice.
Straight Outta Compton is a mesmerizing biographical account of the NWA and all that they achieved. It’s an inspirational tale of the impact the few can have on the many.
By Ruth Walker