Straight Out of Vulgarity and Misogyny
by Bill McGeeIf hearing profane language spoken every other word and seeing young bare-chested women being used as groupie sex kittens is what you want in a movie, then Straight Outta Compton is your kind of movie. I must first admit that I went to see this movie because it was my intention to slam it based on my disdain for “Gangsta Rap”, NWA in particular, and what the crack epidemic of the late 80’s did to the black community. I must say that I was somewhat disappointed, because the movie did not live up to my low expectations. It, in all honesty, is a very good movie. Oh yes, every other word is profanity of some sort, and about halfway through the movie, when the group NWA becomes successful, the half-naked groupies show up at the pool parties. However, for much of the movie, the producer (F. Gary Gray) chose to depict the struggle of these young men to become successful rappers in a very real and meaningful way. I have to pause and give the young actors (5) five stars for their convincing portrayal of a period where most of them were infants at best. Notably, O’Shea Jackson Jr., who plays his father (Ice Cube) and Jason Mitchell, who plays former drug-dealer-turned-rapper and Ruthless Record CEO (Eazy-E). Both of these young men, along with the other cast members. gave extremely convincing performances worthy of recognition by the movie industry.
The other notable factor that keeps me from slamming this movie is the manner in which the writer, director and producers kept it real. I mean this movie is the real deal and there is no glorification of anything or anybody in this movie. It is the classic tale of young guys wanting to make it in the music industry and all of the demons that jump on them from the minute they make that decision. My personal criticism was going to be aimed at the music industry, distributors and Jerry Heller, in particular. But after seeing the movie, I don’t have to say a word. Heller, was depicted as he should have been and the other people in the industry, likewise. Proudly, I was going to congratulate Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on becoming extremely successful entrepreneurs and entertainment moguls. (Dr. Dre, for those of you who don’t know, is probably the wealthiest rapper/DJ in the world, having sold his beats by Dr. Dre to Apple for (3) three billion dollars.) However, the movie does this for me. In the movie, you see Ice Cube grow into a respectful family man and Dr. Dre, heroically and truthfully, is depicted as walking away from Suge Knight’s Death Row Records and leaving behind all of his masters, rights, and money. He stands up to gangster/thug Suge Knight and walks out of the door talking about starting his new company “Aftermath”, which he did, and from that venture came Eminem, 50 cent, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, etc. with 16 gold/platinum releases to his credit.
So while my intention was to let Straight Outta Compton have it, I just can’t do it. The movie, for what it was meant to be, is an excellent movie. I despise the profanity, but in reality, many young people talked like that then and now. I hated the nudity and sexual promiscuity, but the movie accurately and poignantly records the death of Eazy-E from contracting HIV through promiscuous. unprotected heterosexual behavior. Noted, that this portion of the movie had everyone very quiet and somber. While I won’t give this movie 5 stars, I am willing to give it 4 stars out of 5. I don’t recommend it to anyone with tender ears, I don’t recommend it for anyone under 16, and I don’t recommend it for anyone who does not like rap music. But I give it my unqualified recommendation to everyone else. As I said, “they kept it real.”