Guns, Rhymes, Money, Betrayal.
F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) has worked on videos for some of the greats Ice Cube, R, Kelly, Cyprus Hill, TLC and Outkast. so he knows what to do when it comes to a film about one of the most notorious bands to come out of the 80’s and 90’s N.W.A.
“You are about to witness the strength of street knowledge”
Compton CA 1986 and it is all drugs, guns and gangs, some embraced it and some wanted out of it. As the film starts we are introduced to a collective of young residents of Compton. First is Eric Wright aka Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell, Texas Killing Fields) an entrepreneurial youth doing drug deals around the area and when a customer refuses to pay on delivery, it looks like things are about to turn ugly, their attention is distracted as a S.W.A.T trundles down the road with a tank battering ram and everyone has to look out for themselves.
Next is a youth lost in his music, Andre Young aka Dr Dre (Corey Hawkins, Iron Man 3) he is so lost in his Hip-Hop that he misses the job interview his mother had set up for him. He explains that he has a job dj-ing down at the local club, but his mother doesn’t believe that $50 is a job especially as he has a girlfriend and a baby to look after. He moves out to stay on an aunts sofa and go for his dream as his younger brother Tyree (Keith Powers, Faking It) looks up to him and wishes him all success.
Sat on the school bus looking out at all the frat boys and girls at the collage they pass by O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr) is sticking down his rhymes in his song book. When driving along in the bus some of the other kids play it up to some guys in a car driving along side, this annoys them to say the least and they stop the bus and gain entry and give the kids a lesson in respect and not to get on the wrong side of the O.G. and giving Ice Cube much needed inspiration for his song book.
These guys are all friends and they all meet up at Doo Tos club where Dr Dre dj’s. They meet up with Antoine Carraby aka Dj Yella (Neil Brown Jr, Battle Los Angels) and Lorenzo Patterson aka MC Ren (Aldis Hodge, Leverage). Doo To likes disco music not the stuff the Dr Dre mixes on his decks and especially the hard lyrics of Ice Cube, but the guys have different ideas with Ice Cube on the mic and Dr Dre on the decks they rip the place up and the crowd love it.
But none of the group have any funds and this is where Eazy-E comes in as they reckon they should lay down some tracks, they set up a small studio in a room and decide on a song but not who is going to sing it. After a while they decide that as the song is about Eazy-E that it is he who should don the mic, reluctantly and with a shaky start they end up with a track they really like and suddenly Ruthless Records is born.
They pay for the record to be pressed and the record flies out and becomes the most requested record on the local radio station for over six weeks, so more pressings are done and this is when Eazy-E meets Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti, Romeo and Juliet, John Dies at the End, San Andreas 3D) the owner of Phonograph Records. He becomes their manager and N.W.A. (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) is born. With the group sharing the stage and the recordings they are a hit. Their rise to fame is infamous.
You will be waving your hands in the air like you don’t care as you listen to Ice Cube rhymes and Dr Dre’s mixing as they take America and the world by storm as they go through their highs and lows, friendship and fights, loyalty and betrayal. Great performances by all the cast and if you like this kind of music you will love this film.