“Straight Outta Compton” draws awareness to police brutality
By ISATA SESAY
Movies about rappers are not usually what I am drawn to, but I was
curious about the film “Straight Outta Compton” after seeing the
I was not aware of the group N- with Attitude, or that their music
caused many riots in this country.
However, I was familiar with some of the members in the group such as
Ice Cube and Dr. Dre; Ice Cube from previous movies and Dr. Dre as the
maker of Beats.
I was very eager to see this movie when it came out, and I was not disappointed.
For those who may not know, “Straight Outta Compton” is a film
documenting the ups and downs of a 1980s rap group known as NWA, who
were based in Compton, California.
The film promotes the use of violence against police brutality, the
objectification of women and the use of drugs and guns. The group uses
the art of rap to shed light on police brutality, which at that time
was a daily reality for many African Americans.
As documented in the movie, the beating of Rodney King added more fire
to the already blazing flame, with protests and riots that were
described at the time as a “war zone” in America.
For me, watching this movie brought to mind the recent brutality
forced upon many unarmed African Americans by the hands of law
For instance, the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie
Gray, along with many more whom the media may not have focused on.
This sparked many protests across America, including the costly and
devastating riots in Ferguson and Baltimore.
It makes me sad and angry that many years after NWA released their
album, “Straight Outta Compton,” many unarmed African Americans are
still being harassed and killed mainly because of the way they look
and their skin color.
To make matters worse, the police officers involved are not prosecuted
for their actions, or are just given a slap on the wrist.
After seeing the film, I am a bit more versed on the history of
hip-hop and the NWA. I also realized the unethical and violent culture
surrounding these types of groups.
I was not overly disturbed about the objectification of women in the
film, simply because hip-hop is almost always associated with
Knowing that sex sells in the music business, I expected to see a lot
of this being portrayed.
Overall, the movie was great and I recommend that people go see it.
Even for those who are not necessarily interested in hip-hop, it
provides a life lesson or two.