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Straight Outta Compton left out all the juice

Joy Bewaji

Straight Outta Compton is the exuberant biopic of the rap group NWA that failed to address, even to a decent degree, issues of misogyny, drug abuse and violence associated with rap.

It’s a squeaky clean movie of hip-hop. Once in a while we see the naked women at pool parties, but that is not enough representation of gender exploitation in the culture of rap; and far less offensive. Only one time did we see weed, on a scale, dispassionately displayed.

The police are racist. Women love to take off their blouses. Rappers just want to rap and make some money. And white music executives are sleazy.

Straight Outta Compton left out all the juice

That’s the story. With hallows on the leading characters- Ice Cube, Eazy E and Dr. Dre.

They fail to talk about the influence of drugs in the life of the average rapper. Series of gender abuse and the typical run-ins with the law which could hardly justify those chilling police scenes in the movie, but could give clarity to the defect in the system strengthened by misdemeanour connected to black culture.

Not one prominent female character in the entire movie. In this universe of rap, women are accessories. Naked. Pointing guns ordered by men, or giving blow jobs.

On a table with rappers, drinks and cigarettes; the women sit- sandwiched between men, conversation flying over their heads. Life carries on without their input.

Ice Cube produces a movie that is so narcissistic, he could as well be the chosen one- the son of God. It is cringe worthy, this saintly position he and Dr. Dre award themselves.

Straight Outta Compton could have told a more factual account of hip hop. A version that would shape the future of a genre stuck in sexual discrimination and objectification, homophobia and antisemitism.

Instead we are left with some kind of respect for Ice Cube- as the man who looked through a $75,000 cheque like it was a mere glass of water; challenged the details of a contract and went on to shake the foundations of a robust clique.

But for what it is worth- the popcorn and soda, and for not being a cheap black movie like the rest of them- Aaliyah’s biopic, and that cut-price movie on Biggie- I am grateful for a crisp movie with the right budget and PR to perfect it’s Hollywood status.