Evolution of Hip Hop

No Image

Straight Outta Compton finally reached our shores this weekend, much to the delight of local audience that has been suffering the long wait for a movie that caused havoc smashing charts upon its international release in August.

Local cinemas were abuzz over the weekend as this film transformed theatres more into a hip-hop concert atmosphere banging with the sounds of hip-hop moguls Ice Cube, Dr. Dre as well as their iconic rap group Niggas With Attitude (N.W.A). By the way Straight Outta Compton is a biography film, hence it tells a true story about the rise and fall of these hip hop music super stars and their struggles growing up in a violent neighbourhoods.

In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionised music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war.

Now what we see in this film is brought to us by the surviving members of that hip hop pioneering movement as among the film’s producers are Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E’ s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, with MC Ren and DJ Yella as creative consultants. Their story is portrayed by their children as O’Shea Jackson Jr, Ice Cube’s son who plays him in the film as the hardcore rapper and amongst others and Jason Mitchel as late N.W.A founder Eazy-E. For this role, Mitchel is said to have been coached by Tomica Woods-Wright and her son into perfecting the role of West Coast’s true rap mogul. The best is always saved for last, this film was directed by coveted African American director F. Gary Gray famous for mid 1990s blockbusters such as Friday and Set It Off that even won him the 1997 best director award. He is still very much relevant today, as already he is heralded as the incoming director of the next installment of Fast and Furious.


 

Action

Outta Compton is brilliantly amazing for so many elements but for starters, its authenticity and informative aspects. Majority of the audience did not have a clue as to how this hip-hop or rap music genre came to be, as most people only have today’s impression of rap music that sings about money and girls. 

However, the Outta Compton takes us on a journey through this struggle, showing us the formation of all these artists and record labels. Eazy-E formed Ruthless Records, that had the notoriously powerful gifted rap group of five, Dr.Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Mc Ren and Dj Yella together as N.W.A then broke apart Ice Cube going solo. Later Dr Dre formed Death Row Records with Suge Knight that led to the discovery of other icons Snoop Dogg and Tupac. Yet again, due to greed in hip-hop, Suge Knight and Dr Dre’s disagreement led to the formation of Aftermath Records by Dre that produced a generation of today’s superstars such as Eminem, 50 cent and Kendrick Lamar.

 

Briefly dishes out a music history.

Adding more flavour to the film is  that it also plays a major role in showing the youth that through passion, determination and hard work, there is always bound to be success along the way amongst some of its other incorporated themes. In the film, Dr. Dre is kicked out of the house by his mother due to his pursuit of far-fetched dream of a music superstardom, rather than honouring interviews for normal jobs. However through perseverance, the young man follows his talent that turns him into one of the world biggest record producers and CEO to Aftermath Records. Amongst other themes that actually come out bold in this film are issues of racial discrimination, freedom of expression, liberty, gang violence, deception greed, corruption as the social ills that crippled America in that era with cops that oppressed the human rights.

That brings us to the action. The movie is violent and explicit in cursing language. Some of the standout violent moments where a young woman gets knocked out by a tank in her living room as corrupt cops bulldoze their way into the house searching for narcotics. The stunts are good. We see drug kingpin Eazy-E running for his life on top of people’s rooftops, evading the law before he reforms as a rapper. This biography will captivate you with some of its hot pieces of action.

Also from all the commotion of gangs and racial ills, Outta Compton is also engaging in the sense that the movie has a good story to it. It demonstrates how music became a tool in bridging the gap of apartheid. It was traumatising when cops came arresting N.W.A members because of their skin colour as well as how most white music promoters extorted or turned a blind eye to these raw talents before their rise to fame. The biography aspect comes out bold, what this biography delivers is the true echoes of a struggle. The film also has in store a lot of nudity and explicit sexual behaviour. You know how hip-hop musicians or rappers love women.

On a lighter note, this biography is thrilling with its dose of rude humour. Dj Yella and Ice Cube mock Dr. Dre after being kicked out by his mother alluding that “His momma kicked him out because of that mouth,” implying that he talks too much. Acting by major leads adds more toxic venom to this biography, giving it that required vigour. Most notably, I would credit the roles of O’Shea Jackson Jr as Ice Cube and Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre they came out blazing and grabbed the limelight by the scruff of its neck dishing absolute performances. O’Shea looks like a real life hologram of his father, the real Ice Cube and adds that to the character which makes his role more believable.

Dr. Dre comes out as the one everyone listens to most in the group of five friends. The other marvel of joy about this hip-hop biography is the fact that it gets the cinema oozing with hip-hop as the rappers dish out their explosive voices in concerts and in studios. Which brings us to the cinematography, it is much well done because Outta Compton takes us way back into the ghetto neighbourhood of South Los Angels California overshadowed by drugs and thugs. Its use of old cars depicts life of the 1980s when curly hair was still in fashion.

 

Reception

Straight Outta Compton biography was made with a budget of $28 million. However, the film went on to do wonders in August after shooting to first spot on the box chart with $60 million. Since its release two months back, it has accumulated a staggering $196 million dollars. As a Universal Pictures film it follows other successful blockbusters such as Fast and Furious 7, Jurrasic World as well as Minions that grossed over a billion dollars each.

 

New movies leading box office.

1.The Martian

2.Hotel Transylvania 2

3.Sicario

4.The Intern

5.Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

 

Ratings

For all the positivity derived from the negatives obstacles set forth for our protagonists in this film and overall good story. Deserves an epic 8/10.

 

Evolution of Hip Hop
Movie: Straight Outta Compton
Genre:  Biography Drama Music
Duration: 2hour 27 mins
Age Restriction: 16
Release Date:  2nd October 
Director: F. Gary Gray  
Main Cast
O’Shea Jackson Jr (Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre),  Jason Mitchell (Eazy E) 

Evolution of Hip HopMovie: Straight Outta Compton

Genre:  Biography Drama Music

Duration: 2hour 27 mins

Age Restriction: 16

Release Date:  2nd October 

Director: F. Gary Gray  

Main Cast O’Shea Jackson Jr (Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre),  Jason Mitchell (Eazy E) 

Editor's Comment
Botswana needs proper rehabilitation centres

Our sister publication The Monitor earlier this week carried a story on serious human rights abuses being meted on people who have gone for rehabilitation at a boot camp in Kgatleng. Allegations cite verbal and physical abuses, children being stripped of their dignity and shaved in front of others. While the abuse came to light after a suicide incident of a 23-year-old, Botswana Institute for Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Offenders’...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up