“Straight Out Of Compton”


I have to admit this is something I would never have watched had it not been for my son, as I am not a fan of rap, but it was surprisingly much better than I expected it to be.

It is sort of a biopic of the rap group NWA’s beginning and rise to fame and a bit of slice of music history for the late 80’s to early 90’s for that genre.  It is also a drama as complex as any soap opera and just as enticing, but with a lot more swearing and violence with the rappers’ music sprinkled in.

While I only vaguely remember the songs, hearing the story behind the music made it a much richer experience and makes me much less dismissive of their music as it is more like “Narcocorrido” for black people.

The actors were convincing in their roles and boosted by the casting of Ice Cube’s son portraying him in the movie…from some angles he looks nothing like his father, but in others in the eyes and cheekbones you can see it, with adds to the authenticity.  Added bonus was character actor  Paul Giamatti as their manager, Jerry Helton; except for the voice, he is almost unrecognizable in this role, but adds a strong layer of complexity with his manipulation as a trusted father figure to the naive young men.

The ending was disappointing as it felt unfinished…it only touched on how it impacted the members, except Easy E, which I only vaguely remember hearing in real life, that he died of AIDS which was part of the movie.  Even with that, it left me wondering what happened to his girlfriend who was pregnant with his child.  It touched on some of the rappers that Dr. Dre supported and launched, like Eminem, but didn’t it go one to mention the Ice Cube parlayed his fame more into being  and equally if not more successful writer/actor/producer (except it mentioned he had written “Friday” in the movie) and Dr. Dre into his hawking of pricey (but have heard awesome and well worth the money) expensive headphones.

I can cautiously recommend this movie for adults, but only if you can get past the foul language.

 

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