“You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.” Not only is this one of the most powerful beginnings to any record, it is also the beginning to the Straight Outta Compton movie. Before you see anything, you hear that oh, so familiar line, and then it begins. You are taken back to that moment when you first hear the album, and it changed hip hop forever. The majority of the story, you already know. The behind the scenes stuff makes this a movie not to be missed.
I will not go into the details of the movie, because I know how much I hate it when a movie is spoiled before I get to see it. I will, however, express my opinions on a few things. NWA was Eazy, Dre, Cube, Ren, and Yella (and if you look at the album cover, Arabian Prince). You would barely know that from watching this movie. As we have stated on the podcast, the previews showcase (and introduce) Eazy, Dre, and Cube. The D.O.C was more prominently featured in the film than MC Ren. Don’t get me wrong, I am a giant D.O.C fan, but he was not an official member of NWA. Aldis Hodge did an excellent job portraying the Ruthless Villain, but his screen time was so limited that it seemed like a waste to have him in the film. Marcc Rose and his eerie portrayal of 2Pac almost matched Hodge for screen time. As a founding member and dope lyricist, you would think that Ren would get more of a feature in a movie about his life.
For a 2 1/2 hour movie, this one flew by. The movie was well paced, and entertaining; there were no slow spots. The throwback to “Friday” with the “Bye, Felisha” (yes, that’s how her name is spelled) callback, was a nice touch. There were moments where time was fast forwarded that I would have liked more story. Not that it needed more story, but I would have liked to see more. For example, the time between Ice Cube refusing to sign his contract with Jerry Heller and “No Vaseline” was a matter of 3 minutes on film. That was two years, covered in 3 minutes. The D.O.C’s car accident and hospitalization took up more time in the movie. Who knows, maybe there was nothing important that happened in those two years?
All in all, one of the best movies I have seen in many years. Make sure you tune in this Thursday to hear Bill’s and my full review (with spoilers). If you have seen it, give us a call 206-333-4221 and tell us what you thought. If you don’t want to call, comment here or leave us a message on the Facebook page or hit us up on Twitter. Until next time….Keep it classic, and always remember: New School Stale, Old School Fresh@