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Director: F. Gary Gray
Starring: O’Shea Jackson Jr, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins, Aldis Hodge, Neill Brown and Paul Giamatti
I’m a huge rap fan, massive in fact. Not as big as a fan now as I was back in my teen/ early twenties, but I’m still an avid listener. It all began back in 1999 when I first listened to Eminem’s ‘My Name Is’. That track kicked it all off for mw. I was in secondary school when it was first released and everybody was talking about it. . From Eminem I progressed to all the big names like Tupac, Snoop Dogg, DMX and N.W.A. I know enough about the N.W.A’s history to know that their story needs to be told, and here we are with Straight Outta Compton
The film tells the story about the rise of the notorious rap group, N.W.A. From the streets of Compton, California, N.W.A rose from the crime which has polluted the city to revolutionise the music and hip hop scene forever under the guidance of their manager Jerry Heller. Through all the highs and the lows, band members Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Eazy E, MC Ren and DJ Yella make their way through an industry which is frond upon by the media to acquirer fame, fortune, a shady manager, and the title of hip hop legends.
Film of the year. If I could recommend one film for you to watch, Straight Outta Compton is that film. Enthralling and energizing spring to mind. I said that their story needs to be told and here it’s been done to perfection. Through the years, they’ve dealt with a ton of negativity, especially in the early years with radical hate from the police. There’s this one scene where a violent riot breaks out after they performed ‘Fuck tha Police’ against the wishes of the police. The police are portrayed as the real antagonists here especially the Rodney King incident where a black man was tasered, struck with batons and tackled to the ground which sparked the Los Angeles riots of 1992 that lasted for six days. Aside from the rise of N.W.A, we also see the origins of the likes of Tupac and Snoop Dogg. Will there be a sequal focusing on the West Coast rap scene? I sure hope so.
Massive praise to Jackson’s performance as his dad, Ice Cube. The supporting cast were also top class. There was a lot of controversy surrounding N.W.A’s glamourizing of the gangster culture which is touched upon here, but I do wish they elaborated more on the group’s troubles with misogyny and homophobia. What can I say about the soundtrack? If you’re a fan of rap then you’ll appreciate this. All the hits are here and so much more.
I’m completely blown away by this film. It’s a phenomenal biopic which highlights the struggles and controversy of one of the most influential hip hop groups ever. Having both Dr Dre & Ice Cube producing helped a lot where most biopics are questionable, but here, I feel that it was done to justice.
Straight Outta Compton is on course to being a blockbuster masterpiece.
Film of the year
Rating: ***** (Top of the pops)