Straight Outta Compton – Review
The film “Straight Outta of Compton” tells the story of the group N.W.A. and in the year 1988 when they burst on to the scene as a groundbreaking new group that revolutionized the music industry and pop culture forever with its honest, aggressive and sometimes confrontational storytelling of their lives and experiences growing up in Compton CA.
And the impact? Well, they are acknowledge as being at the forefront of changing and influencing hip-hop music forever with N.W.A's first studio album titled "Straight Outta Compton," that created both huge popularity for their sound and equal controversy with its brutally honest depiction of life in Los Angeles. And with the guidance of their first manager Jerry Heller, N.W.A band members Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr.), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren navigate through the rough and tumble turns of the music industry, with the obvious results of fame, wealth, greed, jealousies, tragedies and ultimately a place in American music history.
PROS: At its core “Straight Outta of Compton” does four things exceptionally well as part of the film’s plot development. One, it tells the intricate individual personal stories of the young men who made up the band. Two, it tells the story of the creative process of their music through the prism of the rough urban life of some of most dangerous streets in America. Three it showcases through the back drop of how the music industry evolved to their original sounds and voice. And four it tells how their new brand of music dramatically changed pop culture forever while simultaneously igniting revolutionary political and cultural wars across the entire country.
CONCLUSION: Unless you have been buried under a rock for the last 30 years you have at one time or another have both either heard the music of N.W.A. and or know they had a lasting cultural impact on music entertainment since their very first track was released. And with that it is not necessary for me to delve in to any particular aspects of the film story and key moments, you all probably know them already.
Also, while I will confess that I am not a fan of hip-hop rap music culture as a simple matter of personal appeal, I did truly admire the imaginative and forward thinking of the band members to strike out on their own path for a new sound that was not only successful, but created music that had the same honesty and sincerity as any famous poet. As with all generations, including my own when I was growing up with the sounds of Motown and Rock music of the 1960’s, all youth are drawn to telling their own personal stories either in the simple written word and or more often in the more memorable format of their music. Such is the same then with the members of N.W.A and that generation who bought their CDs and sang their lyrics out loud.
“Straight Outta of Compton” is very, very entertaining as it is filled with genuine charisma, visceral integrity and exhilarating energy. The acting is almost flawless in telling this unique story by capturing effectively the band member’s actual personalities, their actual physical looks and their mind set from beginning to end. But the film’s greatest strength is its honesty with the story itself, warts and all, without any overdue glamorization to their lives and or those circumstances for better or worse that defined who they were and became.
N.W.A and its story “Straight Outta of Compton” is a fabulous film to watch with not one single boring moment. It tells why their music mattered then and now, but it ultimately tells a uniquely American story of how these young men found through imagination their own path through their own Ellis Island to the American dream and American success by way of the streets of Compton, CA.
3 - 3/4 Stars