Straight Outta Compton hits SA cinemas

The film Straight Outta Compton comes out in cinemas country wide today and it will be enjoyed mostly by those who love hip hop.

The movie is set in the mid 80s right through to the 90s and tells the story of one of America’s and hip hop’s most respected cliques, N.W.A (Niggers With Attitude).

The group was made up of five members, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren. The group revolutionised not only the hip hop culture but also the youth of America during a time when police violence against black youngsters was rampant in the States. The title of the film is the name of the group’s debut album that was released in 1989.

The film exceptionally depicts through various scenes where police show their iron fist approach to eradicating what they thought was ‘gangsterism’ in the different parts of LA.

In one scene, a police officers orders N.W.A members to lie flat on their stomachs on the pavement outside their recording studios. The police officers did this because they assumed that the black young men were causing trouble in the area. Prejudice against black young males was rife in the US at the time and it’s horrifically sad that that’s still the case in the country.

The cinematography is refreshing, especially shots of LA because most rap or hip hop movies are usually set in the streets of New York.

Eazy-E was the frontman of the group and enjoyed all the attention while the actual raps were ghost-written by Ice Cube because the former couldn’t write his own rhymes as he was just a drug dealer before the formation of the group.

But I must say I was disappointed that the film did not touch on Eazy-E’s visit to the White House in 1991 where he met the president of the time George.H.W Bush. It would’ve been interesting to see how this same person who was rapping ‘Fu** the police’ now dinning with elite of American politics.

I did enjoy though, how the story of taxi driver Rodney King’s beatings by officers from the Los Angeles (LA) Police Department, was incorporated into the story line as it was hot topic at the time.

At times, it felt the movie was a Dr.Dre biopic with the attention put into his rise as a genius producer. The acting is far from mediocre- but it’s always hard to make judgement on that with biopics.

-Sowetan

Leave a Reply