Writing for The Root, The Burton Wire‘s founder & editor-in-chief Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. reviews F. Gary Gray’s highly-anticipated film Straight Outta Compton, which chronicles the lives of hip-hop super group N.W.A. Check out an excerpt from the article below:
“Straight Outta Compton is a film that brilliantly captures the energy of a group of friends raging against the post-industrial machine in a city on the brink of eruption. Directed by F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton tells the story of N.W.A, one of the most notorious and iconic rap groups in music history, and how the members climbed from the ghetto to musical superstardom against all odds.
The group’s seminal album, which gave birth to gangsta rap with hits such as “F–k Tha Police,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Express Yourself” and “Dopeman,” lends its name to a coming-of-age tale about a group of talented friends, living in a world marked by crime, violence, and constant police occupation and surveillance. These boys in the hood were searching for a way out of the ghetto and found it through music, poetry, collaboration and consciously choosing to pursue a different world.
Gray, who hails from Los Angeles, humanizes the maligned members of the supergroup, showcasing the complexity and interconnectedness of their lives and musical genius. He peels away the layers of men who started out as boys with literally a pen and a pad and two 1600 turntables.
Part of the pleasure of the film is not only reliving the memorable pop-culture moments but also seeing the humanity of the characters, who are often regarded as one-dimensional thugs who made it big by glamorizing violence and spouting misogynistic lyrics.
Gray shows audiences that the men behind the mic are funny, sensitive, tough, abusive, naive, violent, obstinate, agreeable, conscious, lewd—complicated in the ways that many young people, who are finding their way in a world that is not welcoming to them, can be.”
Read the review in its entirety at TheRoot.com.