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MUSIC & THE ARTS

Straight Outta Compton

By official R&H reporter David 'Papi' Duke

Posted August 25, 2015
Papi Duke won't be watching Straight Outta Compton
Open all hours: A BP garage in Compton, Plymouth yesterday. (Check bottom for credit)

If you see Papi Duke down the cinema, he won't be there to watch 'Straight Outta Compton'. Here's why...



Some people I know asked me recently if I was going to see the new Straight Outta Compton movie.

The answer is no, and I'll tell you why if you care to read my rant.


SMALL AND SCRAWNY
Eric 'Eazy-E' Wright grew up in Compton, California in a very rough neighbourhood.

He was small and scrawny with a high-pitched voice and so was a target for violence.

His cousin sold marijuana in that area as a means towards gaining a certain degree of protection.

At the age of 16, Eric began selling marijuana under the mentoring of his cousin for similar protection.

Apparently, Eric was good at selling because he made good money from it.

However, after his cousin was killed Eric decided that it didn't offer enough protection and even had its own risks associated with it, especially if you were good at it.

So, he decided to take the small fortune that he had amassed and began a business in the other thing that he thought he knew a little about – hip-hop music.


"O'Shea 'Ice Cube' Jackson was arguably the most talented songwriter, but ironically had by far the most privileged upbringing..."



RUTHLESS RECORDS
He and his friend Jerry Heller started Ruthless Records, with Eric as the talent and money behind the business and Jerry as the business manager.

Eventually, they found some LA-area hip-hop talent to record some records and eventually form a group, which ultimately became NWA.

The message of the band was largely to tell the story of the lifestyles of the people that grew up under difficult circumstances, such as Eric, right, wrong or indifferent.

Of the members who stayed in the group, O'Shea 'Ice Cube' Jackson was arguably the most talented songwriter, but ironically had by far the most privileged upbringing of the members.

Andre 'Dr Dre' Young was the record-producer of the band's music in addition to being a semi-talented performer himself.

As a kid, Young grew up in Compton, but his parents moved to the suburbs when the neighbourhood got a bit too rough.

Lorenzo 'MC Ren' Patterson grew up with Eric Wright, but decided to quit gang-banging and instead pursue music with his old friend Eric when he realised that you could make more money by doing so.

Antoine 'DJ Yella' Carraby was Andre Young's buddy.


"I don't care to watch a movie about the 'story of NWA' without hearing what Eric has to say about it."



MONEY SQUABBLES
After the band had success, Andre Young and O'Shea Jackson thought they deserved more money than the contract that they had signed with Eric and Jerry provided.

They threatened Eric in particular, including having their stooge Marion 'Suge' Knight threaten Eric's mother's life.

Long story short, Jackson and Young parted ways under not-so-good terms with Ruthless Records and eventually in 1995 Eric was diagnosed with AIDS.

Before he died, he forgave Young for his transgressions against him and he died shortly thereafter.

In summary, I don't care to watch a movie about the 'story of NWA' without hearing what Eric has to say about it.

Since he is dead and has no say-so in the matter, I choose not to watch it.


Chief hack's note: Fair play, Papi. In fact, I'm going to boycott the film as well. Not because of the storyline but because I'm skint and my local cinema smells of pee-pee. Anyway, while we're on the subject of NWA, here they are now with their AOR classic, Straight Outta Compton, embedded here on the tune-tatsic Rake & Herald from emimusic's YouTube channel, which you can check out here.




See also Global Economy: The China Syndrome, posted 20/8/15.


Picture credit


Top and thumb: A BP garage in Compton, Plymouth by Mike Crowe.

For licensing information click the above link.



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