Straight Outta Compton, Movie

straight outta compton movieNot all rap music is full of explicit language, violence and degrading depictions of women, but much of today’s rap music is. The new movie Straight Outta Compton is a biopic about the group of five rappers known as N.W.A. who had a huge influence in popularizing rap music that is filled with hate, violence, sex, and explicit language, otherwise known as Gangsta Rap. According to this review at pluggedin.com, the movie attempts to justify the art of N.W.A. by sympathetically telling the story of their lives leading up to the release of their groundbreaking album Straight Outta Compton back in 1988. splat red

The new movie, just released on Friday, easily grabbed the number one spot at the box office over the weekend. I’m awarding Straight Outta Compton a big SPLAT simply to draw attention to the fact that this is not the kind of movie that we want our kids to see. The group’s original promoter insists that the their most popular song, “F___ The Police” is the moral equivalent of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. When you look at the good and peaceful fruit of MLK’s words and life and compare it to the criminal acts promoted by these 5 men, the comparison falls flat. Nothing good can come from holding this group up as heroes for a new generation of kids. But, that’s exactly what this movie is doing. Sure, it’s rated R, but that only serves to make it more attractive to teens especially. Parents be on guard. If your kids tell you they want to see this movie because it’s about some of the heroes of rap music, like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, don’t be fooled. According to the article below, and the review I mentioned above, the movie Straight Outta Compton is only revisiting and reinforcing it’s original message of hate, rebellion, obsession with sex, and violence toward women. Here is an article that says it better than I can.

Stereo Williams – The Daily Beast – 8-12-15 – Excerpt from, “‘Straight Outta Compton’: Dr. Dre’s Assault on Dee Barnes and the Problem With Music Biopics”

 . . . the quintet of rap rebels who took the genre by storm in the late ’80s as Niggaz With Attitude. N.W.A became notorious for their explicit tales of street life in Compton, California, and though the group only actively released music for less than five years, their legacy stretches far and wide throughout hip-hop. …. And Straight Outta Compton celebrates that obviously important legacy in masterful fashion. But along with infusing hip-hop with “the strength of street knowledge” via hardcore rhymes about bangin’, slangin’, and county bids, another important facet of N.W.A’s legacy is one of blatant and rampant misogyny. From Cube’s declaration that “A Bitch Iz A Bitch” on 1988’s landmark Straight Outta Compton to the Slim Shady-esque murder fantasies on the hateful “One Less Bitch” from their uber-controversial sophomore album Niggaz4Life, N.W.A presented a casual contempt for women that foreshadowed what would become a recurring theme in even the most mainstream stars of the genre.

And, most egregiously, Compton opts to completely ignore the more toxic elements of Dr. Dre’s history in regards to women. The legendary producer was the musical architect of N.W.A.’s sound, and in 1991, Dre physically attacked television host Dee Barnes at an industry party in Hollywood. The assault landed Barnes in an emergency room after she was brutally assaulted by a drunken Dre.

Read the full article here.

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