Movies, Pop Culture

Everything wrong with ‘Straight Outta Compton’

"It ignores several of N.W.A.’s own harsh realities. That’s not gangsta, it’s not personal, it’s just business."

Regardless of if you’re a hip hop fan, someone who knows the life, or just someone who got caught up in the hype – we can all kind of agree that Straight Out of Compton is doing insanely well at making it onto all our Facebook feeds’ and (therefore) whatever your preferred news outlet is. Either this is because the movie is doing awesomely or it’s because one of three things. In this case, it’s about all three.

[bctt tweet=”Everyone is hearing about Straight Outta Compton” username=”wearethetempest”]

1. The offensive casting call.

Straight Outta Compton, offensive casting call

Oh yeah. The colorism is real, folks. Notice how A & B Girls are listed as being open to any ethnicity, but the “less classy” girls are supposed to only be Black women (not to mention: the weave is required.) This is literally a casting call that showed up on Facebook that describes women as “hottest of the hottest”, “fine”, and “poor, not in good shape.” I mean, I get that you need to describe whatever vision you in have in mind but the bluntness of it being put into words should really alert you to how messed up you’re being.

“You should be light-skinned. Beyonce is a prototype here.” Ugh.

2. Where was Dr. Dre’s assault of Dee Barnes? Where was his assault of all the other women?

Dr. Dre

Expertly put by Dee Barnes herself, “I didn’t want to see a depiction of me getting beat up, just like I didn’t want to see a depiction of Dre beating up Michel’le, his one-time girlfriend who recently summed up their relationship this way: “I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up.””

Dee says that, like a whole slew of women, she was subject to the film’s revisionist history that decided to drop the topic completely. It doesn’t help that the script was later revealed to have included the scene, because it means that they were aware of it. While I’m glad we don’t have to watch Dee get beat on-screen, I’m not glad that there wasn’t even a mention of it.

In strongly suggest you read it all from the woman herself, because nothing could top her trust that – had Eazy-E been alive – the movie wouldn’t have skipped them over and statements like, “The biggest problem with Straight Outta Compton is that it ignores several of N.W.A.’s own harsh realities. That’s not gangsta, it’s not personal, it’s just business.”

3. Heavy police presence at screenings

NWA interact with LAPD, Straight Outta Compton scene

Because…seriously? Why? Who invited officers to keep watch on visitors for a movie featuring a group whose – arguably – most famous song is titled, “Fuck the Police”? An anonymously sourced Wall-Street Journal article claims it was Universal themselves, despite their public statements of being “proud of” the movie and that they did not up security. They even mention that thousands of screenings have gone on without incident.

[bctt tweet=”Who invited the police, anyway?” username=”wearethetempest”]

That still doesn’t kill the fact that a movie targeting black and brown bodies drew tighter police presence. It’s still insulting, and it’s literal policing of those bodies. Either these police forces believe the audience drawn to this movie is – for whatever reason (we all know for what reason) – drawn to creating incidents serious enough to necessitate their presence or they’re baiting for it.

What better way to frame a crowd than to show up to a movie with anti-police sentiments in full uniform, am I right?

But hey – it’s not all bad. Eazy-E’s death still made us all shed tears.