I enjoy listening to old school Hip-Hop, and when I heard there was going to be a movie about N.W.A., the legendary rap group that introduced Hip-Hop greats, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren, I was pretty psyched. This group revolutionized Hip-Hop by rapping about their experiences in the ‘hood,’ dealing with police brutality and racism.
Straight Outta Compton is a traditional music biopic that shows the emergence of the N.W.A. in the mid 1980s — their struggles, and the members separate career routes. I appreciated the film as a whole and greatly enjoyed the acting and the music. The best parts of the film were N.W.A recording music in the studio and performing on stage, showing off their prowess to sold-out crowds.
Dr. Dre is portrayed by Juilliard-trained Corey Hawkins, Ice Cube is portrayed by his doppelganger son O’Shea Jackson, Louisiana newcomer Jason Mitchell plays Eazy-E, Turn‘s Aldis Hodge plays MC Ren, and martial artist Neil Brown Jr. plays DJ Yella. These actors convinced me that not only were they Hip-Hop greats, but best buds as well. There is a natural camaraderie between the five actors that is shown through scenes where they joke and hang out with each other.
There are clear social justice issues shown throughout the film, specifically police brutality, which is still relevant today. It adds power to the film.
However, I felt the pacing wasn’t consistent because there were too many party scenes that were tangential, which could have been taken out. I wished certain scenes were more fleshed out so I could have context with what was going on with the characters. Lastly, I felt the ending was tacked on, and I was waiting for more to happen.
I’d recommend people to go see Straight Outta Compton, because despite incredible odds, this group managed to create legendary music that still influences musicians today.