While the surviving members of N.W.A. (Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, and MC Ren) all participated in the film’s marketing, the group remains a part of history.
Too profane for radio play, they emerge as an underground sensation, soon filling arenas and drawing the skeptical eye of the FBI.
A Juilliard graduate who most recently appeared in “Romeo and Juliet” on Broadway, Hawkins was met with playful skepticism when he was first cast to play Dr. Dre. Movies like Jurassic World, Furious 7, Fifty Shades of Grey and Minions have all made stupid amounts of money this year, but the studio has also found more modest success with films like Trainwreck and Pitch flawless 2.
“This is a major motion picture we’re talking about, which speaks to cultural relevance in a profound way”, Boyd said. I’m exhausted of seeing people dying every day, I’m exhausted of seeing people go to jail for nothing. It’s really just about making sure they understood how important the group was and what they went through.
Do you remember the first time you listened to N.W.A. or was there a song that won you over to the group? Now the white kids are listening to this music.
“To get back to N.W.A., they told that story as what was going on”, Hervey said. “We couldn’t get everything in”. If it applies in Compton, it applies in Idaho. Presumably, millions of movie-goers will see Hollywood’s take on the formation, rise, and eventual break-up of one of Hip-Hop’s most influential and iconic groups: N.W.A.
“I did a lot of homework”, Gray explains. “You don’t get a chance to really feel that artist”. For whatever reason, we don’t know. And we definitely don’t see Dre serving any of his 1995 jail sentence – an odd omission in a docudrama that’s often about street cred. We might’ve been hanging out, but we in the studio working. “It was deep in the ghetto back then”. I wanted a whole scene of how you come up with N.W.A. and what it stands for.
Despite these drawbacks, Straight Outta Compton is still an incredible film that captures a tumultuous period of time-not very different from the lives of black and brown people today-and the birth of a movement that changed the course of hip-hop music and culture forever. The next generation of actors depicting them has a more complex view of such confrontations. That reportorial notion falls by the wayside in Straight Outta Compton, which was produced, not a little self-protectively by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube-who, despite occasional moments of selfishness or pique, emerge from the movie as decent, likable, hardworking guys. There’s enough things out there going on now to hold these officers accountable.
So who did you talk to in doing research for the movie? “If E was here, he would like it so it’s cool”, he said, referring to Eazy-E, who died of complications from AIDS in 1995. “Just stick to what you are good at and just keep pushing”. “What I like about him, is the same thing that Spike [Lee] does for New York [in his films], he makes our [Compton] neighborhoods look lovely”, he said.
“While it’s a dream come true I realize the pressure”.