Finally got around to watching "Straight Outta Compton" this weekend and I have to say this is a film that was completely robbed of Academy Award consideration. Not only is it one of the best movies about music ever made, but beyond that, it's a statement movie that documents the history of police misconduct in L.A. during the '80s and the racial bias of America...something that's sadly still relevant today.
It's nearly impossible in today's world to think of music being controversial. Nothing is shocking anymore when it comes to music. Nothing has been shocking since Marylin Manson. But in the Reagan era, there was a still a war on popular music. There were constant attacks on expression, fearing the corruption of youth. We've come a long way since then, thanks in part to bands like N.W.A who refused to stay quiet about what was going on in their community.
The film does a great job in portraying the struggle of expression. It also does a great job in portraying the dark side of the music business. The greed, the corruption, and the way greed corrupts those who originally only cared about the art and success. Any hip-hop fan knows the drama that played out between the three stars of N.W.A and most ended up taking sides, having favorites, and dismissing others. As fans, we got caught up in the feud. But fans only hear the traded insults without knowing the full story. This gives us the full story, and it goes a long way to repairing Eazy-E's image and illustrating how industry beef can't really conquer the brotherhood that once founded a group.