Crushing expectations with the massive quantity of $24.3 million on the Friday opening, and heading towards the grand total of +56.1 million dollars of weekend (box office) sales, Straight Outta Compton has managed to recapture the revolutionary rags-to-riches tale of the rap legends: Niggaz Wit Attitudes.
The motion picture shows the history of how the group N.W.A., whom the members came from poor living conditions of the infamous town (Compton), pioneered rap and changed “gangsta rapping” forever. Their story reveal how the rappers’ realities were created into songs and later on being considered dangerous. To maintain order amongst the teenagers (of the now parent generation), N.W.A. was banned by most mainstream American radio stations.
In spite of all of this, they rose above and showed the world how music could be used as a weapon. A weapon of power that’s only fueled by the truth. Something that could start a revolution.
Just a minor detail, this all happened in 1986: Nearly three decades ago. Meaning, people who will understand what’s truly going on in the film are people that grew up experiencing this. Despite the film being rated R, a majority of the ticket buyers have been teenagers born around the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Kids that were never part of this society’s uprising for change. Before watching, most of these adolescents didn’t even know who N.W.A were, so what message will they take away from the film?
Some parents would argue that this generation shouldn’t be allowed to watch Straight Outta Compton. With all the problems that are frequently happening of under aged drinking and/or consumption of drugs (of teenagers), parents of these adolescents say that this is another way to show their “kids“, that there are no consequences to these addictions. That hard earned money should be spent on alcohol and weed.
Yet, did Dr.Dre and Ice Cube, say that they were good role models? Did they specifically go out and tell people (outside of their songs), to go consume drugs or that they supported under aged drinking?Some rappers have said themselves, that they are not people that should be looked up to. Their words? Sometimes. It all depended on the level of attention that was brought upon by society and the media. Just because they rap and have an ample amount of money, doesn’t bind them into the stereotypical category of “bad people that do drugs“.
Musicians (and rap lovers) most commonly bring attention to the evolution of rap history part of the film, and how these men started it. Most say, teens now have the knowledge of where most famous rap artists’ lyrics were influenced from. How “gangsta rap” was taken to a whole new level. Even though the artists themselves say, that they were rapping “reality rap”; they managed to expand a subcategory of rap and made themselves be remembered as music legends.
However there are people who watched the film and had a realization. After almost three decades, things aren’t that different than what they used to be. Major problems still revolve around black victims of police shootings. Stereotypical remarks are still happening in the media, going to the brink of extreme racism. How there are still young boys being harassed by the police because of their skin color pigment. People now realized that we have to take even further action to fix our society. To make sure future teenagers don’t experience the horrors that have been going on for an unreasonable amount of time.
Straight Outta Compton could be described as almost anything. Comedic, heart-breaking, intense, inspiring: Anything but a bad influence for the young generation. It’s up to the viewers to decide what they want to take away from it.