BP #45: Straight Outta Compton. The Movie Of The Year.
Some movies can transcend history. No matter if its 1995 or 2015, some stories have such a basis in truth that not even time and diminish them. Straight Outta Compton was not only beautifully shot and acted, it was a story with such a great message, and greater lessons. The movie chronicles the hip hop group NWA on their rise into the history books. Consisting of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy E, and others, the group rapped about the grim reality of their lives in Compton, shedding light on issues such as racism, poverty, and police brutality.
Of all the issues covered in the film, none had the weight or time thrown toward it as police brutality. The scenes were heartbreaking, hard to watch, and certainly angering. The pit in my chest grew as I watched the systematic prejudice portrayed in the film. On of NWA’s most popular songs is called F*** The Police, and seeing the inspiration for that song, you can’t help but sympathize with the sentiment felt by the group. I mean, how would you like to harassed for no reason, and have your life threatened just because you were black. It’s funny really. The movie is set in the late 1980s to early 90s, but some of the scenes look like 2015. And that’s one of the greatest things about the film. Its timing. It’s a rare that a film this great, with this great of a story, comes out at such a time that it reminds us of our past, and our present. NWA might have had a more blunt view of how to deal with rouge police, but it doesn’t mean their message is wrong. In fact, I couldn’t help but buy into their movement at points in the film.
And not only do you buy into their causes, you buy into their story as well. The “rags to riches” story is played out so much in modern culture, but the story of NWA is so raw and painful, that it brings a new twist to the theme. And in doing so, in really looking at their story, you see how inspirational it was. Above all, it teaches us that everyone that was ever great, started somewhere. The beginning of the film really drives home the bleakness of their realities. From dealing with poverty, to the police, Compton was not the place to succeed. But still they accomplished their dreams. I’ve talked a lot about dreams in these 44 blogposts. Dreams can change your life. And that is certainly the case with NWA. They dreamed of getting out of Compton, and becoming stars, and they certainly succeeded in that. Dr. Dre is a billionaire, and Ice Cube has become a superstar. And sure it didn’t end up great for all of them (Rest Eazy), the story shows you the power of the dreams. And in incredible talent, some controversy, and you have superstardom.
But NWA were not enamored with just being famous. They wanted to change the world. They wanted to change the system that had dealt them such an awful hand. Sure they were angry. I’m angry after seeing it on screen. But that anger fueled their music, and their music did what they wanted it to do.
It changed the world.
So how was Straight Outta Compton? Well if you haven’t gotten the picture yet, it was one of the best movies of the year. It might be one of the best movies I have ever seen. I saw it a few days ago, and it still pops into my head at many points in the day because you the story it told. I think about how it reflects today. I think about the lives of Dre, and Cube, and Eazy. I think about how history can always affect the present. I can’t give this movie a grade, because that wouldn’t be fair. The story in this movie transcends much more than a letter. And I am sure that it’ll be around come award season.