Still, Cube and others involved in making the “Straight Outta Compton” film say N.W.A. was never a group of outlaws, but artists determined to speak their minds and air what they saw as injustices in their community. How do you feel on the popularity it’s gotten? “We couldn’t get everything in”.
O’Shea Jackson Jr. was determined to play his father, Ice Cube, in “Straight Outta Compton“.
Gary Gray’s “Straight Outta Compton” rolls into theaters (our review is here) this weekend, telling the story of the 5-man crew that seismically redefined the hip hop landscape, controversially ushered in the era of the gangsta rap, and launched stellar multi-hyphenate solo careers.
“Remember”, he told Adolfo, “I grew up in Cleveland on the same block as Bone Thugs-n-Harmony”. At least, unless things on the streets turn around before then, those future generations will still need to hear N.W.A.’s famous fuck-you.
Did you discover anything like that in portraying your dad as a teenager?
Ice Cube: Not really, there’s only so much time we had to fit a lapse of about 10 years into.
Dre told the audience, made up of young residents of Compton, that the movie shows how important it is to “just believe in yourself”.
The meme is pretty lighthearted for a movie based on one of the most feared musical groups of the past 50 years, but isn’t that just 2015 Internet.
With new protests and arrests in Ferguson dominating the headlines Tuesday morning, DJ Yella said the issues N.W.A rapped about are as urgent as ever. “You have that responsibility just as a human”. He was able to do it in a controlled environment and not really have these police put their hands on him, because that would hurt me if they did that for real. I didn’t want to teeter one way or the other. I had the time of my life. “The royalties don’t go up for how many members you have in the group”.
“It’s about the group, the rise of the group and the subsequent following of the group and you can make five N.W.A. movies with all the information that is out there”, he said.
On Tuesday, Universal Pictures gathered cast and real-life N.W.A. figures for an hour-long YouTube livestream panel, not just to talk about the legacy of N.W.A., but why the depiction of police brutality will resonate at a time when headlines are of racial profiling and the shooting of unarmed black suspects. By contrast, when Cube (Ice Cube’s oldest son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., who is excellent) smashes up a record exec’s (Tate Ellington) office for skimping on his royalties, the scene frames him as a ‘hood hero triumphing over The Man. As for Dre (Corey Hawkins) beating TV host Dee Barnes so brutally that she filed a $22.75 million lawsuit, that’s not here at all.