Straight Outta Compton review
written by Souranath Banerjee
Another take on reality but from a fresh perspective altogether.
My Ratings: 4/5.
Remember F. Gary Gray, the guy who did the The Italian Job (I mean who directed it), and this time he has come up with the highest-grossing musical biopic ever in the history of Hollywood – Straight Outta Compton.
This is the unique true story of the pioneers of gansta rap, an American hip hop group from Compton (California), who shot to fame around the mid 80s and called themselves N.W.A – Niggaz Wit Attitudes!
Their rap music was famous for its explicit lyrics about drug, crime and women, and also for their hatred of the police system. Thus one of their most controversial songs was ‘Fuck tha police‘. And such was the popularity of that lyrics that FBI send a special letter warning N.W.A not to perform that song in public, which fortunately attracted more publicity to the group!
The core members of N.W.A were legendary rap artists Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, DJ Yella and MC Ren. And the film Straight Outta Compton (which was also the name of their debut studio album) showed how N.W.A started off, they formed their group and teamed up with their manager Jerry Heller, their huge success, and then their internal rivalry regarding contracts, and eventually their break up in around 1991. The film ended with the AIDS-related death of Eazy-E in 1995.
A well documented biopic of all these musicians, well enacted by O’Shea Jackson Jr. (who played his father Ice Cube in the film), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E), Neil Brown Jr. (DJ Yella), Aldis Hodge (MC Ren) and of course Paul Giamatti as the sly manager Jerry Heller.
But Straight Outta Compton is not only a film about music.
It portrays the overall social scenario of that time in US where some black musicians trying to rap their way up was definitely not considered as art or them as artists. It was the time when the young colored people had to endure unnecessary police harassment on numerous occasions; it was the time of the infamous 1992 Los Angeles riots AKA (Rodney King riots).
An essay of the social life of the 80s America, seen through the eyes of some young black kids who wanted to create music. And they did.
A hip hop fan or not, this film is surely worth a watch.
Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com