Straight Outta Compton: The Story of N.W.A.

The group that started the all black trend and became the hip/hop of the west coast.
Photo Courtesy: Universal Studios

By Taylor C. Berrier

Straight Outta Compton hits theaters this weekend and hits hard. Out of all the summer blockbusters, Straight Outta Compton easily lands in my favorites and ultimately transitions us into the end of summer 2015 using sheer amazing movie qualities as well as an educational aspect. I don’t go to movies just to be entertained, or maybe I do, but for me a big factor in being entertained is what I can learn from a movie.

Some people scroll through Wikipedia for their daily reading, and I don’t blame them. I used to love reading encyclopedias as a kid, because in the detailed explanation or definition of things resides a story oft times alongside a powerful meaning. Like many a white boy, I went through a phase where I spent most of my time reading and studying hip/hop culture trying to grasp every angle of it in order that I may gain some ounce of coolness and popularity with friends. But it’s a phase that never exactly wore out. This is just one reason I loved Straight Outta Compton. This movie tells the story of some young boys who wanted to make a difference not involving the violent gang culture that surrounded them at the time. Where they grew up had profound impacts on their artistry to the point where it would give them the tools to operate within the nonviolent space they wanted to occupy.

This particular story is just incredible. If you don’t know who these people are and what they did with music, you will be glad you learned from watching Straight Outta Compton.

The movie employs many stars, or soon-to-be stars, bursting their way on to the big screen. I had no qualms with the cast and their performances and portrayals of these characters. Especially the actors who play the original members of N.W.A., and especially Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. Respectively portrayed by Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. I hadn’t heard of these guys before and their iMDB rap sheet is short, but expect great things.

I have to attribute these amazing performances to many factors, including the directing by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job), working alongside seasoned acting veteran Paul Giamatti who plays their first manager Jerry Heller, their beyond-believable likeness to the actual people they are portraying, and most definitely their own raw, natural acting talent. So many things will draw you to these characters and will leave you paralyzed in your chair over the sheer intensity their own humanity is emitting within the story being told. If this was an epic, it would only be the second or third chapter of a very long and yet unfinished story.

Go see Straight Outta Compton in theaters nationwide now. It’s an amazing story that everyone should know. Check out a trailer below: