S traight Outta Compton , the biopic of hip-hop group N. A, seems to have struck a nerve amid a steady stream of highly publicized police violence toward black men. But even as the movie breaks box office records and collects accolades, the film has gotten widespread criticism for the omission of Dr. Their lyrics fare no better. So how do we make sense of righteous, relevant rage on the one hand and violent, dismissive language about women on the other? Why does the former feel so timely if the latter comes off as retrograde?
How NWA changed hip hop forever
How Political Was N.W.A, Really? | Talking Points Memo
I n south central Los Angeles, Ice Cube , chief rapper with NWA, is handing out a few tips on how to get the best out of the neighbourhood. It is a hot weekday morning but the porches of the wooden bungalows that line the street are empty and the air is strangely quiet. I've heard it so much in my neighbourhood that I can't hear it no more. At night, you'll see the helicopter flying around here with the spotlight on, looking for somebody. If you hear a car with a beatbox booming at night, you know they're out looking for somebody. As long as you can't see where they're coming from, gunshots aren't scary.
Niggers With Attitude
In terms of its impact and influence, if not its actual contents, he certainly has a point. NWA were important, but not always for the right reasons. Before NWA, rap was controversial and confrontational, but usually political and substantive: after, though, the music and the industry surrounding it changed beyond all recognition.
Right about now NWA court is in full effect. Judge Dre presiding in the case of NWA versus the police department. Order order order. Ice Cube take the motherfucking stand.