Straight Outta Compton is really good, you guys. But no biopic is 100% accurate, especially when it’s produced by two of the guys in the story. I’m not saying Ice Cube and Dr. Dre tried to whitewash their past, but there are some interesting omissions in this NWA tale.
You may want to see the movie before perusing this article. It has “anti-spoilers,” if you will.
Ice Cube’s Time at PIT
You may think O’Shea Jackson, better known as Ice Cube, leaped into NWA straight outta high school. The truth is, he attended the now defunct Phoenix Institute of Technology for a semester. It makes sense to omit this chapter in Ice’s life, as it has no bearing on the film’s narrative, but it does show another side of his personality. Talented rapper? Check. Brilliant lyricist? Check. Architectural drafting major? Let’s leave that out for now.
Eric Wright, better known as Eazy-E and the “godfather of gangsta rap,” might just be the single most important member of NWA. While a great deal of Straight Outta Compton focuses on him, there’s still a strange imbalance there. There’s a large subplot with Dr. Dre’s time at Death Row Records, but not so much with E’s continued work at Ruthless. Specifically, there’s barely a mention of the Bone Thugs, possibly the biggest act E ever signed to the label.
Eazy-E vs. Dr. Dre in Court
This goes hand in hand with the previous paragraph. When the Ruthless/Death Row split, the two rappers took matters to court. Essentially, Dre and Suge Knight wanted a full release from Ruthless, but the opposing side tried to reach a deal where E would still make money off of Death Row’s releases — the FBI even thought it could have been a money laundering scheme. This legal feud isn’t quite presented the same way in the film.
Race issues are at the heart of the NWA story, and that’s understandable. However, some of Ice Cube’s lyrical content in Death Certificate, specifically the track Black Korea, may have taken things too far. After a black teen was shot by a Korean store owner, Ice wrote a racially-charged track that called for the destruction of Korean grocery stores across the country. Violence is rarely the answer, Cube. Maybe that’s why it was left out.
Dr. Dre’s Violence
It seems the stars never escape domestic abuse charges. Of course, most of the time, they deserve it. The truth is, Dr. Dre has attacked several women over the years. He’s apologized, but that doesn’t change the past. But when you’re producing a film about your early career, you can probably finagle those violent details out of the script and save face.
If you’ve never heard of this guy, it’s understandable. He hasn’t quite enjoyed the same level of success as his fellow NWA members. Yes, fellow members. Kim Nazel, better know an as Arabian Prince, was a founding member of NWA. Remember when Ice Cube went to PIT about five paragraphs ago? Well when he came back, Prince was basically ostracized from the group — and from the movie altogether.
If you know of more holes in the NWA story, hit up Tony on Twitter and tell him stupid he is for leaving them out of this article.