Some of us will listen to music on our Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and we'll enjoy ourselves when we watch an Ice Cube movie, but some of the same people who do these things will also become a bit fearful when they see a person wearing a N.W.A. hat and t-shirt come near them. This is the dichotomy of N.W.A.
When news of the biopic about "The World's Most Dangerous Group" became official, I didn't know what to expect. Would we get a terrible movie that would make us regret the time we spent watching it, or would it be something different? I am a fan of hip-hop, so I hoped the legacy of the group wouldn't be tainted by a terrible film.
The day came for me to finally see the film and I was nervous. I felt like I had something to do with the film. In a way, I had. I was one of the millions of people who were influenced in some way or another by the group. So, this was important to me.
I sat in the seat of the theater with high hopes, but low expectations. Too many times films I looked forward to seeing have let me down. Then the movie started. No matter where you were, from the opening scene, you immediately felt like you had been transported to California. Everyone in the theater was focused. Some of us were reliving moments from our youth while others were experiencing things for the first time.
Crime in local neighborhoods and police brutality were some of the main focuses of the group. It not only gave them something to rap about, but it was a part of why they had the 'attitudes' they eventually became famous for. While not every aspect of N.W.A's life could be shown, director F. Gary Gray does a wonderful job of making us feel like we were flies on the wall watching the roller coaster ride of these legends. There's no doubt Mr. Gray's direction of the film was great, but I would be crazy not to mention the spectacular job done by the entire starring cast.
Most of the stars of the film were not well-known actors, so it was a huge risk handing a film of this magnitude over to them. To say they did a great job is an understatement. O'Shea Jackson, Jr (Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E), Neil Brown, Jr. (DJ Yella) and Aldis Hodge (MC Ren) gave us Oscar-worthy performances. Together with Gray's direction, the cast told the story of N.W.A. brilliantly.
This film is a tale of the American dream. It is about rags-to-riches and it is undoubtedly a true underdog story. From the beginning, N.W.A. not only taught us about our freedom of speech, but the responsibilities that come along with it. Regardless of if you like, love or hate rap, you will enjoy the story and the emotional ride the cast takes you on as they tell it. You will get angry, you will laugh, you will shed some tears and you will walk away inspired.
This movie is not just for fans of rap, or N.W.A. It is not just for those who are from Compton or can relate closely to the lifestyles portrayed in the film. It is not just for black people or the youth who have problems with authority. No. This film is for everyone and that is why I highly recommend it!