Straight Outta Compton is one bad-ass origin story. This biopic of legendary rap group N.W.A. gives an incredibly entertaining insight into the rise to fame for several of the greatest Hip-Hop/Rap icons of our time. Nowadays Dr Dre and Ice Cube are both household names but it wasn’t always champagne and record breaking deals with Apple. Straight Outta Compton delivers on multiple levels. It’s an entertaining watch for any hip hop fan, the recording studio and gig scenes had me rapping along in my seat. The film also excelled on deeper level as a story of a minority group fighting to overcome oppression, blatant racism and the music industry barriers of the time. All while they were revolutionising the music industry and pop-culture at the same time.
Director F. Gary Gray was undoubtedly the correct choice to bring Straight Outta Compton to life, creating what will hold up as a timeless biopic for the film archives. It helps that Gray is totally familiar with his subjects in this film having early on in his career shot music videos for superstars including both Ice Cube and Dre. He even helmed Cube’s first feature film, ‘Friday’. Straight Outta Compton is well paced, despite being two and a half hours long. I could have easily enjoyed seeing more of the groups stories unfold (the spotlight was definitely more directed at Cube, Dre and Eazy-E than the others) but the film did a great job of both portraying the groups career successes and wild parties whilst also evoking sorrow and anger through some of the more heavy scenes dealing with issues that are sadly still too relevant today.
If you are a long running fan of N.W.A. or hip hop in general the soundtrack alone is worth hitting the cinema for – just be prepared to spend the next three days with ‘F*** the Police’ stuck in your head. As for those of you who aren’t totally schooled up on the genre I can’t think of a better place for you to start your education.