West coast rap pioneers Dr. Dre and Ice Cube have remained relatively silent on the upcoming “Straight Outta Compton” film release which will chronicle the story of N.W.A, but now that the release date is approaching, the pair is breaking their silence.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in an exclusive interview, Dre and Cube opened up for the first time on everything from their thoughts on the movie, to former colleague Suge Knight’s recent murder charge.
For starters, Dre was candid about how the lack of acceptance for gangsta rap in mainstream pop culture has drastically changed over the years.
“It’s crazy how we were getting criticized for this years ago,” says Dre of N.W.A’s provocative songs about inner-city life. “And now, it’s just like, ‘OK, we understand.’ This movie will keep shining a light on the problem, especially because of all the situations that are happening in Ferguson and here in Los Angeles. It’s definitely going to keep this situation in people’s minds and make sure that everyone out there knows that this is a problem that keeps happening still today.”
Cube had a sarcastic response to the question of whether or not law enforcement would find the movie controversial:
“Oh, they’re gonna love it. True story. Inspired by them. I mean, why wouldn’t they love it? It’s what they do. They’re not misrepresented. True that.”
Cube’s 24-year-old son is playing him in the film and says it was harder for him NOT to act like himself than anything.
“My father would call me before each scene to let me know what he was thinking. A lot of it was getting me to not act. I have so much of his mannerisms and things already in me that I wouldn’t want to be onscreen doing an impersonation.
You can do an impersonation or you could become the character. I really was trying to break down those acting walls and just let everything flow.”
Weighing in on the incident earlier this year that ended with Suge Knight now facing a murder charge, Dre kept it short.
“It’s just a really unfortunate incident. Maybe [Knight] was looking for trouble. I don’t know.”
Speaking specifically on their overall take on the finished product, Dre and Cube had this to say:
“It shows that we were not only ahead of our time, but right on time,” says Cube. “It’s a constant situation between the powers that be and the neighborhoods we’ve come from.”
“It had a great potential of being done wrong and f—ing up our legacy,” [Dre] says. “Our legacy is something that’s very important to me.
“We were just trying to entertain our neighborhood, just us trying to be hood stars. It just became something that was much, much bigger than we ever thought, than I ever imagined.”