FILM REVIEW: Straight Outta Compton tells the powerful story of hip-hop supergroup NWA

Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton - Credit: Archant

Straight Outta Compton (15)

Straight Outta Compton tells the story of the formation and eventual demise of hip-hop supergroup NWA.

Whether you’re of the era, the frantic pace and Gothic heights of emotion and passion should draw you in.

Music, not surprisingly, is a strong current, with the sound track to their lives blazing through each scene.

From Dre’s early scratchings to later smash hits by the likes of Tupac and Snoop Dog.


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It’s startling to reconcile these global superstars (billed as near gentrified mainstream artists these days) with their racism-riddled early lives and violence-laden struggle to the top.

Alongside the music, the story is consumed with getting police brutality off their rightfully chipped shoulders, and the Rodney King riots are the crescendo to the daily injustices these young men faced in the preceding decades.

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Sure it’s a one-sided portrayal, having been produced by Dre and Ice Cube, hence protestations at the omission of less favourable sides of NWA members’ behaviour, but there’s plenty of room for multiple retellings, and the success of Straight Outta Compton is likely to inspire off-shoots.

The stories are powerful enough but with the care taken to get the likenesses of each person just so, you’re transported back to a time when these men felt they didn’t have a voice before a group of young friends clubbed together to give them one, spawning a new era in musical history along the way.

Ashley Whittaker

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