I credit NWA with introducing me to hip-hop back in seventh grade.Prior to this, I wasn't a huge fan of the genre (except for maybe some Eminem) mainly because I only heard the rap/hip-hop music played on the radio or music video shows, which by the 2000's seemed to decline in quality.I then saw the music video for the song "Straight Outta Compton" on TV one day and immediately I got into NWA which started me on a path to discover classic rap and hip-hop.So of course when I heard that there would be a biopic of N.W.A, I had to see it.
Overall, I was very impressed with the film. The runtime is 2hrs 27min but it felt much shorter than that. The film does a good job of detailing the beginnings of NWA, how a group of young men from Compton, Ice Cube, MC REN, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and Dr.Dre wanted to make music that would make people aware of the dangers of living in Compton and other ghettos, despite the fact that due to the use of gratuitous foul language and depictions of sex, drugs and violence in their music were thought to glamorize the "gangsta" lifestyle.The film shows the controversy which surrounded the group, the police brutality they and many people living in Compton faced on a day to day basis as well as personal issues regarding whether or not their manager Jerry Heller along with Eazy-E were skimming money from the rest of the group which eventually led to Ice Cube and later Dr. Dre's departure. The film also depicts the gangsta rap scene of the late 80's-mid 90's and other issues such as the L.A Riots.The performances in the film from a cast of mostly unknown actors are also very good.
The only issues I had with the film are that I would have liked to see at least some of the Eazy-E/Dr.Dre feud as well as more of MC Ren, who even took to twitter to complain about his reduced portrayal in the film.If you are a fan of NWA or rap/hip-hop in general, then you owe it to yourself to see this film. Even if you are not a fan of this genre of music but enjoy music biopics in general, you would likely still enjoy this film.
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