It seems hard to summarize such a prolific group as N.W.A, and their career into a three-hour movie, and one hour-long album. It seems even harder to sum up said movie, and album into a few short paragraphs. The Straight Outta Compton film highlights the rise, and fall, of arguably the most influential rap group of all time, and does so in a very concise and entertaining manner.
However, Hollywood is Hollywood, and even though the movie tells their story succinctly, it also leaves out information that would harm the group’s image and adds information that is beneficial to the group’s legacy.
The main factual omission is the movie’s lack of information on the 1990 assault of Dee Barnes and Dr. Dre’s subsequent arrest. Dee Barnes was the host of a well-known hip-hop show on Fox called ‘Pump It Up’.Dr. Dre attacked Dee after seeing a segment about N.W.A. and Ice Cube’s departure from the group.
This scandal is completely missing from ‘Straight Outta Compton’; probably due to the fact that Dr. Dre is one of the executive producers and, if included, would be a huge knock against both the character of the fictional Dre and the real one.
There has been news of a Directors Cut release with an additional hour of footage. It will be interesting to see what scenes, and stories are added. If the Dee Barnes controversy, the story would definitely be a grittier one, and the movie would be less buddy-story, and more close to reality.
Another omission from the theatrical release that would be nice to see in the directors is the beef between Eazy E, and Dr. Dre. Although the movie touches on this moment, there is a lot more to the story of Eazy E and Dr. Dre’s relationship, and would really highlight the downfall of their relationship.
The soundtrack to the movie, produced and written by the Doctor himself, is the glue that really holds this movie together. There has been news on and off for years now that Dr. Dre was going to release his final album, ‘Detox’. For years there has been suspicion, anxiety, and anticipation that the master producer Dre will finally release his last album, and his farewell to the rap game.
Dr. Dre’s final magnum opus was released, but not as the mysterious ‘Detox’, but rather as a retrospective of his career and a soundtrack to the movie about the same. It seems almost too perfect to be true, and yet again, The Doctor doesn’t fail to please.
Overall, the movie accomplishes what most biopics attempt to do. It tells the story of a group of individuals, while basking them in the warmest light possible. You won’t find a critical look at the career of N.W.A. You also won’t find much information that will harm their character either.
What you will find, however, is the basics of their story, and a truly entertaining story of the most influential rap group ever.