Authors, Film & TV

Published on August 14th, 2015 | by Jerry Doby

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Article Review: Why you should see ‘Straight Outta Compton’

Lisa Respers France nailed the essence of the why we should see the movie “Straight Outta Compton” in her article for CNN. I always say the more things change, they more they stay the same…the “Dark America” news NWA broadcast to the world via their music, and the overwhelming sentiment of  “Eff tha Police” felt in minority communities back then, is resurgent today. While one may not care for the choice of lyrics,  the fact remains that those lyrics reflect eternally, how the effected communities feel about the paramilitary gangs called police. How many blatant murders, beatings and very suspect suicides does America have to suffer before those on the outside looking in, those who defend the atrocities and human right violations perpetrated against Americans by Americans, finally get the picture…this is NOT the Martin Luther King generation…people get tired, and like wounded animals, turn vicious in defense of their lives. Strange the parallel between the time phases, then and now…only difference is the cops are filming the atrocities, kinda like the Nazis did…they are openly declaring they no longer serve or protect…they are the enemy at our gates and embedded in our communities.

Check out an excerpt from Lisa’s great editorial review below:

(CNN)”You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.” — Dr. Dre in the intro to the song “Straight Outta Compton

———

It would be very easy to dismiss “Straight Outta Compton” as an “urban film.”

After all, it’s about the rise of the rap group N.W.A. (which stands for Niggaz Wit Attitudes), whose profanity-laced rhymes about late 1980s inner-city life in Compton, California, made its members the fathers of gangsta rap, helping shift the focus of hip-hop from the East Coast to the West.

The cast of the film, released in theaters this week, is mostly African-American, and it has a black director, F. Gary Gray — better known for his work on music videos and films such as “Friday” than the more mainstream “The Italian Job.”

So there’s a risk that white audiences will shy away. That the movie is a biopic about a controversial rap group from back in the day ups that ante — even though white, suburban males have always been among the biggest consumers of rap music.

But “Straight Outta Compton” (the film takes its title from the group’s 1988 debut album) is about much more than the musical careers of Eric “Eazy-E” Wright, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Lorenzo ‘”MC Ren” Patterson and Antoine “DJ Yella” Carraby.

Internet laughs over #StraightOutta memes

Its themes of police brutality, racism and disenfranchisement of young, black men in America are as fresh today as they were when N.W.A. released the protest anthem “F**k Tha Police” in 1988.

Talking about race — even in a more high-minded fashion — has long made people uncomfortable, and if there were ever a group fashioned to make people uncomfortable, it was N.W.A. Using the poetry of the streets, these guys thought nothing of riffing on everything from killing to drugging.

But it’s worth noting that the “in your face” style N.W.A. cultivated when the group was new to the game sharply contrasts with the elder statesman status it has assumed in the pop culture nation. Today Dr. Dre is lauded for his business savvy and for introducing the world to such megastars as rapper Eminem and 50 Cent, and Ice Cube is a bankable movie star, screenwriter and producer.

That progression shows why it’s important for both whites and people of color to see “Straight Outta Compton.” The “Boyz-N-the Hood” are now the men next door who remind us of where we came from and how far we can go, even as we face the other cold truth that as a nation we have not really progressed on issues of race.

Source: Why you should see ‘Straight Outta Compton’ – CNN.com (by Lisa Respers France)

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@LisaFranceCNN


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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