The R-Rated Violent True Story On Streaming Changes Pop Culture Forever

By TeeJay Small | Published

straight outta compton

Unfortunately, music biopics have become quite stale in recent years, with many origin stories surrounding bands and popular singers following the same tired, formulaic outline. Luckily, this isn’t the case for the groundbreaking 2015 biopic Straight Outta Compton, which showcases the rise and fall of hip hop’s most controversial political statement.

The film, which follows the gangsta rap pioneers of N.W.A., completely changed the way that Hollywood made biographical pictures and led to a slew of hip-hop films being produced in the years since.

N.W.A Is Straight Outta Compton

N.W.A. first made a splash with outspoken anti-establishment lyrics and hard-hitting breakbeats in 1987, launching the careers of frontmen such as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E. Dr. Dre and Ice Cube served as producers on Straight Outta Compton alongside Eazy-E’s widow Tomica Wright.

Other N.W.A. members such as DJ Yella and MC Ren also served as creative consultants on the film, providing their personal insight into the group’s incredible untold history.

Straight Outta Compton Cast And Director

Straight Outta Compton was directed by The Italian Job filmmaker F. Gary Gray, who has a personal relationship with many of the members of N.W.A., as he directed many of the group’s early music videos back in the late 80s and 1990s.

The film stars Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, and Paul Giamatti, as well as Ice Cube‘s real life son O’Shea Jackson Jr., who is a dead-ringer for a young and wild version of his father in the film.

The film has seen great critical and audience acclaim, winning the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture and inspiring the 2015 album Compton by Dr. Dre.

Many Controversies

Straight Outta Compton

The production of Straight Outta Compton saw a number of controversies as well, mimicking the true controversial tales being told in the film’s narrative.

For starters, N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller sued the filmmakers for depicting him without his permission, as he and many members of the rap group concluded their business on bad terms.

Additionally, founding member Arabian Prince was scrubbed from the film entirely, prompting the rapper to offer frustrated remarks about the production when asked about the film in interviews.

Other Villains?

Straight Outta Compton

The largest controversy behind the scenes involved a violent hit-and-run incident that left former Death Row Records CEO and government asset Suge Knight incarcerated.

Apparently, Knight visited the Straight Outta Compton set during production, allegedly with the intent to intimidate producers into adjusting the script to soften his image in the film.

Suge Knight serves as a primary antagonist in the movie due to his decades of bad blood with several founding members of N.W.A., and his presence has long loomed over hip hop as a violent and dangerous thug.

Troubles Continue

Straight Outta Compton

After leaving the Straight Outta Compton set in a huff, Suge Knight ran over two fellow music industry executives, in a move which prosecutors claimed to be intentional.

One man was killed in the crash, while the other suffered serious injuries to his head and foot.

As a result, Knight plead no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 28 years in prison, effectively ending his decades-long run as hip hop’s boogeyman.

Straight Outta Compton On Hulu

Straight Outta Compton

Despite these issues, the film turned out to be a massive critical success, and currently enjoys an 89 percent certified fresh score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.

If you’re interested in learning more about the origins of the artists who shaped the gangsta rap sound, feel free to stream Straight Outta Compton on Hulu today.