The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.
The movies introduces us to the five members of N.W.A.: Ice Cube, Easy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, and MC Ren. We see how the group formed, how they met manager Jerry Heller, the recording of their first album, the flack they received on tours, their constant battle over censorship and freedom of speech, their lives of excess and partying, the trouble they experienced by law enforcement for just standing there, the battle of egos, inner band turmoil, and eventually the splitting up of the group. If you are a fan of hip hop, you know how much of an influence N.W.A. had to the rise of West Coast Hip Hop and Gangsta Rap. At this time, the only real way to hear new music was the radio, and due to their controversial lyrics, they never got any airplay, but the media helped create buzz and popularity almost indadvertedly by talking about how controversial the group was and how people didn't like their music. That resulted in the band becoming multi-platinum superstars. In fact, the band didn't just grab the black audience, but was highly popular with white men, who started turning away from rock music, which was facing a decline due to cheesy hair metal production, to this new, powerful, anti-establishment credo that rock once represented. Yes, there is drug use, sex and violence, but this was the life these guys knew, and no matter how far you go, you never forget your roots or completely leave them.
The actors all do an excellent job in their roles. The only real veteran in this film is Paul Giamatti, who does his usual solid performance, this time as the sleazy, manipulative manager Jerry Heller. Interestingly enough, Giamatti was in another music biopic this year, Love and Mercy, about another influential Southern California band (The Beach Boys). Both bands, very much from the same area, had such a influence to their periods of time and represented completely different worlds of Southern California youth life.
Even if you're not a fan of hip-hop, I still think you need to this as their effect on pop culture in general is still prevalent today. Also, on a sadder note, the issues of police brutality on minorities still is a glaring problem that makes F the Police sound just as fresh as it did in 1988.
- Aug 16, 2015