Ok let's get straight to it. ( lol, you see what I did there) My high school allowed me a great education, independence and freedom to think, question and challenge the world. I was protesting and learning about feminism at the age of 15! My high school set the foundation but college really formed my thinking and my views of the world. I like to call 1985-1994 my formative years. The years were social justice became relative to me. During this time rap music was being made and I loved it! It was speaking to the issues of the black community at that time. The east coast was dominating it all. KRS One, Eric B and Rakim, GrandMaster Flash! I thought The Message was everything! Even girls was dope like MC Lyte talking about her no good dude and her love for coffee (cappuccino) all those Roxannes with their diamonds and fur coats. Salt and Pepa, Monie Love and the Queen herself Latifah. Public Enemy was dropping knowledge left and right and keeping me informed on black life! But in 1988 on a Sunday evening in the campus library my friend got a care package from her uncle and it was a bunch of homemade tapes from some dudes on the west coast and the rap game changed for me.
In my mind when I think of LA it's orange juice and Hollywood. I never knew about the issues out west. I learned about the Watts riots but I didn't know about the injustice, discrimination, harassment that was going on with the LAPD! Even though this gang banger, pimp, drug dealer name Ice T was talking about it all the time and I saw the movie Colors but I still didn't give it much concern. Until I heard these tapes and I realized that black people got it hard everywhere. LAPD did constant gang sweeps and for good reason cause the gangs and drugs were growing in LA. But the methods of the LAPD and their treatment towards blacks were an issue. N.W.A. spoke to those issues. I love rap music but rap is very problematic when it comes to the treatment of women. I'm not condoning that treatment but I'm shedding light on the political and social impact that NWA had at that time. So finally to the movie......it was great! The soundtrack is tight of course! I went back into time and was in 1986 all over again. Dr. Dre was the visionary, Ice Cube was the writer and Eazy E supplied his dope money to make albums and get studio time. Ren and Yella was just along for the ride. Dr. Dre called the music Reality Rap but white America called it Gangsta Rap. The film depicted the time and the mood well. It was end of the Reagan era and the beginning of Bush 1! So if you can remember what the black community looked like then well... I remember watching Rodney King getting his ass beat down by the police. I remember being in ECon class and having my professor dismiss class early due to the LA Riots after the not guilty verdict! I remember the Crips and Bloods coming together during the riots. I remember that hurt, anger and pain!
I thought it was funny how the film showed the coining of the phrase: Bye Felicia! Which Ice Cube later used again in the movie Friday. The music was dope and showed Ice Cube as the real lyricist! ( the dis records). The film also showed Suge Knight in his rare form.....always around and lurking. Just waiting for the right opportunity to get the boys away from Jerry Heller. Suge took D.O.C. first and then Dre. I also liked how the film introduced Warren G and Snoop as two skinny high as hell teenagers from Long Beach who didn't know who the hell Suge was! Lol and tears came to my eyes to see Tupac in the studio recording one of my favorites Hail Mary! Eazy's death from HIV was sad to watch but very well written into the film.
So many people came from the N.W.A. Dynasty....Eazy had Michel'le, Bone Thugs n Harmony. Ice Cube acting took off with Boyz in the Hood and Friday! ( Boyz in tha Hood is a classic in our culture) And Dr. Dre had to finally stand up to Suge and get the hell out! Dre was like F the money I need peace of mind! This was a defining moment in the film cause we know Suge could have killed him right then and there. But I love fate! I'm a strong believer in it! Dre left Suge and Death Row with nothing but who knew that a trouble little white boy (who use phonetics to write his name) on the east side of Detroit, a former drug dealer from South Jamaica, Queens ( 50 Cent) and his protege ( The Game) was waiting on him! Who knew that he would make some colorful headphones and the world's largest technology company would buy them. Wow fate! Never say nothing good can come from Compton! Ruthless, Death Row, AfterMath. The strength of street knowledge! Great job F. Gary Grey! @Brensum #StraightOuttaCompton #BlackLivesMatter