Taking us back to where it all began, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON tells the true story of how these cultural rebels-armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent-stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world’s most unsafe group, N.W.A.
“This photo provided by Universal Pictures shows, Corey Hawkins, from left, as Dr. Dre, OShea Jackson, Jr.as Ice Cube, and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, in a scene from the film, Straight Outta Compton“.
The promo campaign was crafted in efforts to hype up anticipation for the Straight Outta Compton film, which hits theaters August 14.
Yet the movie, which opens in the United States on August 14, will come off as strikingly contemporary as the nation grapples with a slew of recent deaths of African Americans in custody of law enforcement. If somebody break in my house, I’m calling the damn police.
When Cube eventually leaves the group feeling shortchanged and disrespected, the actors (who are uniformly excellent) make you feel the pain of the divorce. You got this role, don’t worry about mimicking me or impersonating me… Jason goes through the most, but I wouldn’t say one’s more important than the other because it’s just more about, are you living in that truth?
With Eazy, Jason, you didn’t really have anybody there to help guide you on portraying him, how did you prepare? “They were like, ‘Why didn’t you come in?’ Because I was doubting myself, sort of the insecurity that actors go through”. “If somebody stepped in and hurt Meek Mill everybody’s gonna be looking at Drake”.
Were there any scenes that were hard to relive? We did a lot to change the texture of entertainment. “It’s a great feat what these guys did and delivered such a natural performance”. In the end, I nearly forgot it wasn’t me in there. In the album’s rat-a-tat opening lines, Ice Cube delivers a blistering salvo of pent-up frustration from the “gang called Niggaz With Attitude”. The narrative was about N.W.A. It wasn’t about side stories…
“Bye Felicia” was a pleasant surprise. Did you get to experience the hysteria first-hand?
It’s helmed by director F. Gary Gray who worked with Ice Cube on several music videos and the 1995 film Friday.. I have never been this happy for any project that I’ve ever done. I’ve seen him rap my songs before on stage, with me. “We understand that cops have to be a little heavy-handed with criminals but we don’t understand why they gotta be that way with citizens”.
In its final stretch, Compton skitters from one momentous milestone in the history of hip-hop to the next: Here’s Dre writing The Chronic with his laid-back new protégé Snoop Dogg; here’s Cube writing the script for Friday; here’s Eazy-E smoking too much weed while his crooked manager scams him; here they all are watching the riots after the Rodney King verdict. It’s hard because there’s a bunch of people we want to put in it, as much as bring back.