The trailer for Straight Outta Compton, which looks to be a surefooted biopic of the incendiary and provocative Los Angeles hip hop group NWA, has been released, and like the legendary band, who are now almost steeped in mythos in the city in the contemporary age, the film also looks to be a hard punch to the senses.
Watch the red-band trailer here below, which includes an introduction by NWA’s Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, and check out the image gallery for the teaser poster and stills from the film.
Straight Outta Compton, which was also the name of NWA’s 1988 multi-platnium selling release, in which their life in essence imitated their art and vice versa, seems to be a no-apologetic look at the band, who were right in a hot bed nerve center that was Los Angeles in the late 1980s, with cities like Compton and Watts full of economic strife, crime, restlessness, and an un-abiding deep hatred for Police and Law Enforcement in general due to the lack of support for the aforementioned problems. It’s an attitude that still runs high today in the city, and in light of recent racial incidents and tragedies across the nation in the last few years, it’s also an attitude that runs high in the nation.
And NWA was right in front of the flames, commenting on it. Led by Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and the late, walked-a-tightrope-with-one-foot Eazy-E, the band had a brutal sound, image and message. It blew shotgun shells through a sort of quiet, even quirky rap and hip hop community that had existed prior, and even superb bands and artists of the genre like Run-DMC, The Beastie Boys, KRS-ONE, and others, even the mighty Public Enemy, didn’t really get down in the bloody mud that was Los Angeles and living a certain way if you were a certain type of individual or class like NWA was. While a lot of the aforementioned artists were of the East Coast variety and thus pretty much reported on the state of the affairs there, NWA was the first to not only transmit what was happening, but to transcend its locale as well.
And now, Straight Outta Compton looks to bridge together new and old generations, showing visually the importance of the group and of the message, a message that was not taken with grace in some respects. As cities in LA burned during the LA Riots, by-products of what was perceived to be essentially an Aryan race of men running the Police Force, led by Daryl Gates and blown out of control by their treatment of Rodney King, it’s summed up by a line uttered by Ice Cube in the trailer, in which, looking out of a tour bus, the band at their monetary peaks, suggests that “Spread a Little Truth and People Lose Their Minds.” The message of NWA was clear, it was like the anti-establishment of the 1960s hyped up and puffed up, but it was manifested more crucial because the times were more crucial. Most 1960s rebellion actually smacked of it being a sort of clique for some people, something fashionable to do, regardless of how brutal the times were. The men of NWA, and the people of Compton and many inner cities like it in America, grew up and lived in impoverished conditions, where a sunrise signaling the mark of a new day didn’t mean there would be any changes or positive insights for anyone.
The trailer (and essentially the band) is introduced (and for some of course reintroduced) by the real Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who drive around in a snazzy vehicle through the streets where they grew up in Compton, returning like kings, mentors, veterans, and musical sages. For those who may scratch their head at such public adoration and obsession for the band and their members, most of whom went on to extremely successful solo (and acting) careers, Straight Outta Compton should shed some light on why that dynamic exists so passionately, when the film is released later this Summer.
Straight Outta Compton hits theaters on August 14, 2015.
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 revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war.
Starring O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, Straight Outta Compton is directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, Set It Off, The Italian Job). The drama is produced by original N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who are joined by fellow producers Matt Alvarez and Tomica Woods-Wright. Will Packer serves as executive producer of the film alongside Gray.
Cast: O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell
Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Writers: Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff
Produced by: Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Matt Alvarez, Tomica Woods-Wright
Executive Producers: Will Packer, F. Gary Gray, David Engel, Bill Strauss, Ronald G. Muhammad, Scott Bernstein, Adam Merims
Red Band Trailer
Red Band trailer with introduction from Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.