7 Things We Want To See In N.W.A.'s 'Straight Outta Compton' Biopic
December 31, 2014 - 7:32 pm
It’s Still “Fuck Tha Police”
N.W.A.’s second single “Fuck Tha Police” wasn’t exactly an icebreaker between rappers and the guys in blue. The track pits Dre as Judge, MC Ren as Court Officer and Ice Cube as witness during a trial against the LAPD, calling out police brutality against minorities. The track prompted Milt Ahlerich, an assistant director for the FBI in 1989, to issue a letter to their label Ruthless Records, accusing N.W.A. of encouraging “violence against and disrespect” for law enforcement officers. The rap stars found it difficult to hire security from the police on tour but the FBI’s letter only helped them and their anti-cop anthem flourish.
Remake of “Straight Outta Compton” video
N.W.A.’s introductory single still goes hard. In the visual, the rappers try to evade the police while rolling through their native Compton. A modern remix to their men-on-the-streets video could be a real highlight.
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The Straight Outta Compton biopic will introduce rising actors Marcus Callendar playing Dr. Dre, Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. playing his father and Jason Mitchell playing Eazy-E, to the mainstream. With old images of the group rocking snapbacks and jheri curls, wardrobe for the thug life would be a blast from the past.
Also, #NeverForget that racist casting call happened.
Fingers crossed that with Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Wright, in the producers’ seats, viewers leave the theater with their middle fingers down.
Before he was rolling in billions with Aftermath Records and Beats By Dre, rap’s most well-known Doctor (real name Andre Young) was a reclusive spitter/beatsmith who released 1992’s The Chronic, Snoop's Doggystyle, 2001’s The Chronic 2001, brought us Eminem and helmed Kendrick Lamar’s debut good kid, m.A.A.d. city (another ode to Compton), and has yet to release hip-hop's Sasquatch, Detox. But in the late 1980s, the guy formerly known as Dr. J hooked up with DJ Yella as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru right before rolling with Ice Cube on Ruthless Records. Watching Dr. Dre pledge allegiance to the N.W.A. would give him the street cred millennials rocking his headphones know nothing about.
Eazy-E (born Eric Lynn Wright) was a product of the streets. Allegedly raking in as much as $250,000 from drug dealing by the time he was 23, he turned to hip-hop, founding Ruthless Records and pushing out his debut album Eazy-Duz-It on Sept. 16, 1988. Still, the man who spit lines like “Once a nigga/ Always a nigga” acted like leader of the pack with his dough and marketable look. With Cube on the pen, his street hustle became real-life rhymes but his C.R.E.A.M. mentality made him side with Jerry Heller, N.W.A.'s former manager, before the group split (more on this later). E waved the flag for Compton before passing away at 31 years young in 1995 due to complications from AIDs, offering the most interesting story for screentime.
That crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube
The rap group disbanded in 1989, beginning with Ice Cube, who dipped because of a financial dispute with Heller, whom Cube claimed withheld his royalties. The man born O'Shea Jackson threw shots on shots at the group on wax, with diss tracks like "No Vaseline" in response to their 100 Miles and Runnin' and Efil4zaggin. Without beats by Dre, Cube still went on to be a highly successful solo artist, releasing the classic debut Amerikkka's Most Wanted with production from The Bomb Squad and arguably took the title for best rapper of 1990. His character deserves prominent face time in the 'pic.
The Los Angeles Riots
With brash, in-yo-face lyricism about the racial tensions existing between law enforcement and minorities, the 1992 L.A. Riots were a turning point for rappers who already provided the soundtrack. While Cube has gone on the record about where he was when chaos hit the community, it could be interesting to see how each member reacted to the time of Rodney King’s beating.