‘Straight Outta Compton’ Gets New Trailer

It’s been 27 years since the release of NWA’s seminal album, Straight Outta Compton, and the culture of America hasn’t quite been the same since. Recorded in response to the struggle of life as they saw it, the five young men responsible for that record sparked a generation of urban rebellion and the creation of a brand new sub-genre of music.

Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Yella, and Eazy-E had touched the very fabric of inner city anger and frustration. Their lyrics—enraging to some, inspiring to others—continue to resonate even today. Protesters chant “fuck the police.” Saying something is “straight outta” your town is the norm. Their lexicon of protest and anger forever changed the discourse of inner city politics and gave voice to a frustration that previously remained unspoken.

Capturing the spirit of punk rock and delivered to an urban audience, their music spread like wildfire across the country, enflaming the passions of ghettoes everywhere while giving suburban dwellers their first glimpse into the world of the inner city, all of its raw and violent realities painted clearly via the power of word.

A story like that was destined to make it to the theaters at some point. That time is nigh upon us.

This new, red-banded (NSFW) trailer for NWA biopic, appropriately titled Straight Outta Compton, gives us a taste of the story behind the record, along with the rise and subsequent fall of the most dangerous band in recent American history. Featuring a brief introduction by the real life Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, the new trailer is a powerful reminder that the words they rapped over a quarter century ago remain as relevant today as they ever did.

From all appearances it seems as though the movie aims to put the album and NWA themselves into the proper cultural context.  The filmmakers seem dead set on highlighting the conditions of the city they came straight out of, showcasing the bubbling frustrations and zeitgeist that culminated into the LA riots of 1992. The images on the screen may depict a time far removed, but they could easily stand in for the protests and marches taking place today across the nation, reminding us all that we’ve still got a long way to go before we can truly call ourselves a post-racial society.

It was jarring when the first pictures of the cast were released last year, as you can see below. The similarities between actor (seen kneeling) and their real life counterparts standing behind them are all too real (though, in the case of Ice Cube, it helps that his son is playing him on screen). Still, it didn’t quite gel until this preview. Their swagger, their cadences, their aura all scream NWA. It almost feels like seeing them 27 years ago.

compton actors

The young men that formed NWA have all traveled in different directions since their heyday. Some to fame and glory. Some to relative obscurity. Some to the grave. One thing is clear though: Their words and their message are as powerful and necessary as ever. From the looks of things, Straight Outta Compton seems like it might be fuel to the fire in much the same way its namesake album was almost three decades ago.

Straight Outta Compton stars Corey Hawkins, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Neil Brown Jr., Jason Mitchell, and Aldis Hodge as Dr. Dre, Ice Cub, Yella, Eazy-E, and MC Ren, respectively, as well as Paul Giamatti as manager Jerry Heller. The film opens August 14.

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