Directed by one of my favorite directors, F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton follows the creation and growth of N.W.A. I have been waiting for this movie for some time now, and I am so excited that it’s finally here! Well, it’s almost here.
The trailer looks so good! It looks like the choice of O’Shea Jackson Jr. to play his dad seems to have less to do with nepotism and more to do with his acting chops. And he looks so much like him. I didn’t think so until I saw him with his beard. Add the hat and the curl, and it looks like Ice Cube is playing himself in the movie.
I won’t lie, when I was growing up, I wasn’t the biggest N.W.A. fan. They were far to vulgar for me! I wasn’t ready for them. I was still a virgin, and I wasn’t ready for “She Swallowed It,” even though I couldn’t help but to sing it. I had never heard anyone rap about sex quite like that before. It was disgusting! I will say this though, their sex songs stopped me from having sex, because I never wanted any boy to talk about me like that. Between them, and Lord Finesse, I was sure to keep my legs and mouth closed.
Plus, I’m from the Bronx, so I was really resistant to hip hop outside of NY.
But I was ready for “Fuck the Police”. That was something that I could relate to even at that age, after seeing several incidents of police misconduct in my neighborhood. I remember a cop following me and a friend of mine, in his cruiser, him hanging out the window trying to get her number, as we were walking home from junior high school. He knew that’s where we were coming from because he followed us from there. I should say “they” because he was in the passenger seat. The driver didn’t say anything, but he drove at a slow pace to let his partner talk. That incident was cute and petty in comparison to others.
But I digress…
While I was in high school, Ice Cube left the group, and that’s when I started liking him. Dr. Dre beat up Dee Barnes, which made me not like him. When Deep Cover came out. I loved the movie, and was crazy about the title song. I felt ambiguous about Dr. Dre at the time, but that song could not be denied. That was my introduction to Snoop. Well, that was the world’s introduction to Snoop.
By the time I was in college, the whole east/west conflict was in full swing. There was no more N.W.A. Ice Cube was making bomb ass movies. Then Eazy-E passed away. Snoop blew up, and brought about Tha Dogg Pound who I actually liked until they took a Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five classic New York song and tried to pervert it! Granted, the lyrics weren’t negative towards NY, but the chorus alluded to a diss and that was enough! AND THEN they did a video where they were literally kicking down buildings in my city!
That shit pissed me off!
Aside from the media overblowing the conflict between the two coasts for ratings, on my college campus we really did have east coast – west coast beef. But it was mostly in fun. Mostly. It could get serious at times.
In retrospect, I can’t blame the west for feeling the way they did. As the home of hip hop, everyone looked up to NY. But NY being the kind of city it was (and still is) shitted on everyone else. NY radio played very little hip hop from outside of NY. I didn’t know who the Geto Boys were until “Mind’s Playin Tricks on Me” came out. The song was so hot that it couldn’t be denied and NY had to play it. Ice Cube did get a lot of love in NY after he left N.W.A. though. Cypress Hill did too because of the Juice soundtrack. There were a few others too, like Tone Loc, Mc Hammer and Yo-Yo.
The murders of Biggie, and Tupac ended that beef. In part, because their deaths were right at the cusp of the rise of the south, and Midwest.
I have to give props where props are due; N.W.A. changed hip hop and changed my world view. Before them, I never even thought about black people in California. I thought it was all blond surfers, and valley girls. Listening to their music made me never want to go there. Then, John Singleton made Boyz n the Hood, giving it the title of the notorious song. When I watched it, it confirmed that, in fact, did not want to go to Cali. At least that’s how I felt as a kid.
I also remember wondering why they were so mad, since they lived in houses. It looked so nice and pleasant. I understood why people would be angry in a hood like mine (I wasn’t personally angry, but I understood it). Everyone was crowded all on top of each other, thousands of people living on one square block. But in the movie, they had homes with front yards, backyards, with palm trees – freaking palm trees! No twenty story buildings blocking the sun. It looked beautiful. I didn’t get it. It gave me a whole different view of what the struggle can look like.
Straight Outta Compton bringing back some serious memories. Wow! I can’t wait to see it! It’s expected 8/14/15.
Here’s a list of some of the actors playing the key players:
What memories does this trailer bring up for you??
Thank you for reading and go support this movie!