As an 11-year-old white kid growing up in a smallish town, NWA’s seminal 1988 album “Straight Outta Compton” was a lot of things. It was loud, abrasive, and thrilling and terrifying in equal parts. It was also eye opening, peeling back the layers and revealing a slice of daily life in the hood to the entire world. And the debate has raged ever since about whether Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren’s music glorified violence or accurately reflected their world. The revolutionary group now has their very own biopic, also titled Straight Outta Compton, and the first trailer is here.
The black and white intro, featuring modern day Dre and Cube rolling around Compton, is a bit hokey, but draws parallels between their story, the environment where they created their most influential work, and the current state of the world. You get some standard biopic fare here, and that bit with Dre in the kitchen with his mom looks dubious. But watching Ice Cube spit the first lines of the title track, or seeing an entire crowd chant “Fuck Tha Police,” certain members of the audience might feel a little chill in their spine.
This does feel a wee bit polished compared to the rough, gritty music, and you have to worry that it’s going to fall into the stereotypical biographical movie pitfalls. Still, in nothing else, the soundtrack is going to rule, and I can’t wait to hear it rumble through my local metroplex at eardrum-crushing volumes. Remember when music was dangerous?
Straight Outta Compton opens everywhere August 14, and you can check out the trailer below.