Blu-ray Review: ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Delivers A Solid Portrayal Of N.W.A.

Review by Monique Thompson

In 1987, five young men, using brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats, put their frustration and anger about life in the most dangerous place in America into the most powerful weapon they had: their music. The group N.W.A. emerges from the streets of Compton, California and revolutionized Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.

Straight Outta Compton is definitely not one of those Lifetime biopics that fail to deliver and really tell the story of a persons life. Directed by F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton spotlights REAL hip hop and outstandingly tells the story of gangster raps notable group N.W.A. (Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy E, DJ Yella, MC Ren)

For starters, what better person to portray you in a film about your life than your own flesh and blood. An immediate standout from his first scene, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. totally nails his father’s mannerisms, facial expressions, vocal inflection, and even the head lean that Ice Cube has always been known for. It’s nothing short of amazing to see how Cube and Dr. Dre both began as struggling young men in one of the worst cities in the US, to both becoming moguls in today’s entertainment world.

The iconic music and beginning scenes where the group is finding their sound and creating their first hit songs will immediately resonate with the audience. Such songs like the controversial F*** The Police ironically epitomize many feelings and thoughts citizens are experiencing now with the numerous cases of police brutality that have catapulted into news headlines over the last few years. There is even footage of the Rodney King trial and verdict depicted in the film which ends it on a dramatic note.

Chronicling the story of such notable names like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy E into a 140-minute film is just hard to do, but still, many of each of the key players highs and lows were touched on in the film. Surely, Straight Outta Compton delivers a very solid portrayal and will certainly leave hip hop fans reminiscing about the era of real hip hop music.

In stores Tuesday, January 19.

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