Bookmans Recommends: Straight Outta Compton
Written By Flavio Collins, Bookmans Ina Customer Service Supervisor
Growing up in Barrio Hollywood during the mid-1990s, I connected with rap music and culture. I still appreciate the journalistic approach to writing lyrics. Rap is a way for people to express their views on events in their part of the world. For me, those events circulate around poverty, which people tend to ignore unless it affects them on a personal level. This early experience with rap music and poverty came back to me when I watched Straight Outta Compton, a film about the rap group N.W.A.
Straight Outta Compton confirms my view that rap transcends the music industry in that rap artists act as reporters who document the world around them. The rappers in this film expose the mainstream to the underworld of living in deep poverty. The film doesn’t solely detail the origins of N.W.A., but also includes the beginning of the gangsta rap movement in Los Angeles during the 1990s. Familiar faces to watch for include Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur (2Pac).
One of my few complaints about Straight Outta Compton are the scenes depicting N.W.A.’s writing process for their most famous songs. One scene in particular bothers me. In it, Snoop and Dre write one of my personal favorite songs, Ain’t Nothin’ but a G-Thang. Snoop and Dre light up and Snoop “freestyles” the first verse of the song. The scene feels forced and corny. It makes me cringe. I mean, come on! Did it really take them five seconds to come up with this killer tune? No way! Additionally, the film is way too long. The filmmakers drag scenes on even though their point is already made.
I enjoy the portrayals by generally unknown actors of members of one of the most dangerous rap groups in the past 30 years. The performances are fun and rowdy. Anyone who is a fan of N.W.A. and/or West Coast rap should give Straight Outta Compton watch.
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