Dr. Dre NWA Movie / NEW MUSIC
N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) was the hugely influential hip hop group who managed to sell over ten million songs despite having their music banned from many of the most popular radio stations in the U.S. Consisting of Ice Cube. Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, Eazy-E and MC Ren, N.W.A was criticized for their lyrics that some believed glorified violence, drugs and disrespected women. The group is considered to have introduced the world to gangsta rap, and openly struggled with the legal system and suffered police prejudice, frequently talking of their hatred of cops and eventually releasing the track “Fuck Tha Police” in 1988, which spoke out against racial profiling and brutality within the police force.
The song caused controversy across the country, and the FBI wrote a letter to the group’s label, Ruthless, stating that promoting violence and drug abuse wouldn’t be tolerated by the justice system, while police across the country refused to protect the group or their audience during N.W.A concerts. August 14 will see the release of Straight Outta Compton, the movie chronicling the lives of the group’s members and their experience with the police, societal criticism and how their involvement in the group affected their personal lives. Ice Cube and Dr. Dre are producing the movie, which is said to have had a $25 million budget. Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr, is playing the younger version of his father in the movie, while Californian rapper Keith Stanfield was cast as a young Snoop Dogg.
The current murder charges imposed on record producer Suge Knight originated on the set of the film, as Knight reportedly argued with filmmaker and activist Cle Sloan, and the co-founder of Heavyweight Records Terry Carter. Knight allegedly followed them after the altercation, running them over and killing Carter. Knight turned himself in and was arrested on $25 million bail, and according to his lawyer is now suffering from a brain tumor after collapsing in court. Away from the tragedy on set, Dr. Dre released his final album, Compton, on August 7 exclusively to the iTunes Store and Apple Music. Inspired by the upcoming film, it includes collaborations from other rap legends, including Snoop Dogg, The Game, Xzibit, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. With a new album and a hotly-anticipated movie about to drop, many are predicting the content will fuel the fire of a new generation of black citizens who already feel opposed by the legal system. The movie incorporates incidents where the members of N.W.A suffered discrimination from the law, and Dre’s album references N.W.A’s “Fuck Tha Police,” and the tragic police-related killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
With the relationship between the black community and nation’s police force at an all-time low, it’s important to remember that no act of violence, discrimination or prejudice is worth the loss of anyone’s life. The N.W.A movie and associated lyrics showcase the very uncomfortable reality many of us are facing today, and we should aim to take the acts of the past as a lesson to those who have oppressed an entire community, and not a reason to incite violence or hatred among ourselves. While part of N.W.A and later in his solo career, Dre has talked of facing discrimination, police oppression and his fair share of controversy. Despite this, last year he sold his hugely popular Beats by Dre headphone company to computer-giant Apple for a nice $3 billion, making him the most successful hip-hop artist turned entrepreneur ever. His story, beginning on the streets of Compton, is proof that no amount of brutality, hardship or violence can stop a hard-working, intelligent black man from achieving unrivaled success, and while the film seeks to raise awareness of how the community was treated during N.W.A’s peak, it should be remembered that the film is not intended to ignite hatred, but to educate and inform against this kind of treatment in the future.
THE NEW ALBUM:
Coming straight outta Compton with the news that all Dre’s artist royalties for Compton, his ‘grand finale’ album, will be going straight back into Compton. Dre discussed how he’d ‘been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn’t quite figure out what it was.’ However, having been ‘reaching out’ to Compton’s mayor Aja Brown over the past couple months, working on ways that he could give back to the city that made him, the pair started discussing a performing arts and entertainment facility that Brown was already in the process of trying to get off the ground. Well, when that came up, in his own words, Dre said, ‘Boom, this is what we should do.’
So there we have it, aside from the comforting knowledge that Dr Dre too announces/approves of things by saying ‘boom’, having kept the world waiting cruelly long for the now scrapped Detox, the doctor is well and truly in, and he’s looking to treat the city of Compton and its community. Given that this is Mr Dre, Mr NWA, Mr AK coming straight outta Compton, y’all better make way, that performing arts and entertainment facility is going to be funded for years to come.