We are delighted to have so many great friends in media who love to bring their perspective on the arts. We caught up with Andy Brown, author, playwright, radio show host and life coach about his recent viewing of Straight Outta Compton. Here are his thoughts.
Ivy: Tell us about the movie.
Andy: It’s called Straight Outta Compton (2015) and stars Corey Hawkins, O’Shea Jackson, Jr, Aldis Hodge, and Jason Mitchell
Director: F. Gary Gray. It’s about a group of young men (O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, and Jason Mitchell) who formed the hip-hop group N.W.A and revolutionized music and pop culture with brutally honest songs about life in the ‘hood during the 1980s in California.
Ivy: Okay, so tell me what you think about the show.
Andy: We are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge. The highly anticipated film Straight Outta Compton not only helped bring back the sound of the original gangsta rappers, but brought to the silver screen a glimpse into the late 80s and early 90s dealings of civil unrest that disturbed the image of South Central Los Angeles.
Ivy: What does this movie remind you of?
Andy: We are reminded of all sorts of familiar faces this time around, but the audience is introduced to a few new characters as well. Corey Hawkins does an outstanding job of removing himself from the screen and walking all viewers into the world Andre Young, the most driven teens to rise from lack to stardom and change the way most of us listen to music. Not only was Andre“Doctor Dre” Young captured on screen, but it goes without saying that O’shea Jackson, Jr would be a dead lock as his father and allow us to see him as Ice Cube. From the days of writing rhymes on a school bus to writing move scripts overlooking the county. Jackson is truly his father’s son. Aldis Hodge gave you more than what has been shown to us of M.C. Ren (much of nothing). And from the opening scene, Jason Mitchell let us know that the lifestyle that Eric “Eazy-E” Wright was living was every bit of the lyrics he mentioned on those platinum grossing records. I was total impressed.
Ivy: Do you believe this is one of the greatest “hood” movies ever made?
Andy: This movie will be legendary for two reasons at least. One, we get to hear the music that molded the underground format to success including Boyz In The Hood, the controversial F#ck the Police, and Ice Cube’s classic N.W.A diss on No Vaseline. If you forgot that Ice Cube was down with the Lynch Mob, you will be reminded why. And two, this scripted highlighted reminiscent incidences of how law enforcement has been harassing evolved around the noted “World’s Most Dangerous Group”. We see all sorts of familiar faces this time around, but the audience is introduced to a few new characters as well.
Ivy: What are some memorable things from the movie?
Andy: This film served as great entertainment from start to finish..: The impeccable Paul Giamatti (Sideways -2004, San Andreas -2015) let’s us see what kind of man Ruthless Records manager Jerry Heller was to and for the group. And R. Marcos Taylor was almost unrecognizable in portrayal of Marion “Suge” Knight. I had no idea Knight has such a heavy role in the group’s existence. Apparently this movie helps us see that and more. I did expect to see more of the involvement of former R & B singer Michel’le in the film, but hey….that’s just me. Her point of view must not have been needed. Although there is a who’s who of other artist portrayed in this film, including scenes featuring The D.O.C., Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur, you literally will not miss a beat following the lifestyle of the boys from Compton. Keep in mind that this film is truly about N.W.A. and they make that very clear.
Ivy: What memories did this movie bring to you?
Andy: Growing up as a youth in the greater Kansas City area in the 80s and early 90s and well into the origin of the Hip Hop era, I truly was a fan of N.W.A. In fact, I, like many others, could probably recite many of their classic underground hits to this day.
Ivy: Do you recommend this film?
Andy: Go see this film. I am glad that I did. Despite what other critics may say, Straight Outta Compton is exciting, creative, very memorable—and well worth a few hours of your time. If nothing else, consider it an old school hip hop concert for a very favorable price.