Straight Outta Compton Controversy

“Straight Outta Compton” is the box-office success that gives an account of the rise and fall of N.W.A., the hip hop group credited with pioneering the rap style that became prevalent in the 1990’s. While the film has generated good reviews overall, much like the group itself, the film has come with a bit of controversy.

It has incited strong reactions from both the general public and the indivuals who were affiliated with the group at the time of its greatest triumph. For some, the film is prompting violence in a time when distrust in the police is at an all-time high. For others, the film is inaccurate, leaving out any portrayals of key character flaws in young Dr. Dre, Ice-Cube, Eazy-E, and others.

The film’s biggest controversy, accuracy; or rather the lack thereof. A number of individuals have come forward stating the film misrepresented a number of events that occurred when the group members were in their prime. On June 10, MC Ren, one of the group’s former members, took to Twitter to voice his dislike of how he was, or rather wasn’t portrayed in the film’s trailer.

“Man fuck these bitches at universal pictures leaving me out the movie trailers tryin’ to rewrite history,” MC Ren said via Twitter.

The trailer that was initially released for the film showed little of MC Ren and focused mainly on Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Ren was understandably upset considering his status as one if the founding members of N.W.A. It doesn’t stop there however, Gerald “Jerry” Heller recently hinted with TMZ that he may be seeking legal action in response to the film.

“I’m still not willing to comment right now on that movie because I think sooner or later it may be part of an ongoing litigation,” Heller said.

Besides Mc Ren and Heller, a number of women who were in relationships with Dr. Dre before or while he was with N.W.A. have come forward saying the film did not appropriately portray the misogyny and abuse the group used against them and other women. In an interview with Vlad TV, singer Michel’le, who had a son with Dre, described how they got into an argument that resulted in the producer pulling a gun out on her.

“I had just made it to through the bathroom door and he shot. He missed me by that much,” Michel’le said.

She later describes how she left the bullet lodged in the doorframe as a reminder of what he did. She mentions that her role as one of the women Dre beat up is why she isn’t in the film. She isn’t the only one. Journalist Dee Barnes wrote a piece for Gawker blatantly entitled, “Here’s What’s Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up”. In the pieces, Barnes compares the instances of police brutality depicted in the film to the many times Dre physically abused her.

 

Karys Belger

Staff Writer – Arts and Entertainment Staff Writer

kbelger@scmail.spelman.edu

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