What does five young black rappers from Compton, CA have to do with a mommy blogger like myself? How about the struggles and fears that they faced reappearing becoming a reality for another generation, especially the one(s) I am raising. Here’s a little secret you might not know about me; I have a guilty pleasure for the mid 90’s to early 00’s hip hop/rap music. I don’t feel guilty putting on one of my boyfriends snapback hats and rapping some of my favorite lyrics in my home or even in the car. Hey- …a girl just want’s to have fun.
The story begins with brief introductions of the founding five members of N.W.A. in a high paced, dramatic entry of Eazy E and the demons of his current life, running narcotics and money for an unmentioned organization. Followed by Ice Cube who seemingly was a no-snense high schooler just looking to rap and write rhymes rather than mess with the streets and the problems that come with them. Next to mention was DeAndre “Dre” who from the opening was painted as a lost in the present, headphones on, can’t focus on anything but music. I was a little confused as t why DJ Yella and MC Ren did;t really get the introductory recognition besides Ren walking on with Eazy and Yella with Dre and Cube.
I didn’t really grow up listening to west coast rap, let alone N.W.A. so what I experienced was the journey from the beginning to end. So what I caught was the up’s and down’s; troubles and success that these guys felt. The director did a phenomenal job capturing the very essence of the emotional struggle these five faced. The amount of resistance they faced and it did’t detier them from pushing forward and giving the people what they wanted. They weren’t a message of the music. It was the story of the people that society wasn’t aware of. It wasn’t until the Rodney King beating in 1991 that the public was fully aware of the present problems. It’s very reminiscent of today’s issue that are constantly being smeared across our headlines. By the grace of good humor and brotherly love they were able to overcome everything higher powers were pouring down on them and manage o succeed in ‘making it happen’. It’s a true statement of “The Strength of Street Knowledge”. These were five extremely bright young people who just so happened to reflect the obscurities of life they were surrounded by. They didn’t just spit the lines for the sake of finishing off a verse.
Skewed by the lights and promises of outside men, the team was torn apart by legalities, ego and lies. Like dominos they each fell out of the group because of a divide that was created with Eazy and Jerry Hellers relationship in addition to the strong presence of Suge Knight. As brother do, they fight and make up. Swallowing his pride, Eazy reached out to Cube which relayed into agreeing with Dre to create another N.W.A. album, bu unfortunately it was cut short due to Eazy’s illness, which doctors later diagnosed as HIV. Before the album could be completed or even started for Eazy’s matter, he did fall victim to the disease.
Both Dr Dre and Cube wrote such an incredibly driven storyline. It’s one thing to create a documentary, but what Dre, Cube & Felix Gary Gray had done is astounding. They made this film feel less like a documentary and more like an action film. Their ability to capture the moment(s) on film and make you FEEL the emotions as you were experiencing them was incredible. When you see these ‘characters’ treated unfairly by the police, you felt that very same hate they felt in the moment, no matter who you are. When Eazy was suffering the bad news of his health, you couldn’t help but feel sympathetic because this script that was written to recreate the story and it was done so so very well that you were attached to them as people. It was like we all re-met Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Eazy E, MC Ren & DJ Yella for the first time again. I would recommend this move to anyone. If you are an action movie junkie, this will surely fill your cavity.