After the announcement in March of 2009 that New Line Pictures was developing Straight Outta Compton (now under Universal/Legendary Pictures), a biopic on the legendary rap group N.W.A., a trailer for the long awaited film has finally surfaced today. The godfathers of gangsta rap, N.W.A, spawned such rap icons as rap’s first billionaire Death Row Records founder Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E.
The trailer mixes a blend of documentary styled interviews and other rappers influenced by the super group giving their testimony as to how the group impacted them along with scenes from the biopic. Some of the standout scenes include Paul Giamatti who plays one of the label executives asking the actor portraying Ice Cube if N.W.A. stands for “No Whites Allowed” to which he replies the real meaning of the acronym. The trailer also shows the film depicting the impact of their music during the public during the Rodney King riots, making “F*** the Police” an anthem for the tension of the times. This, however, takes liberties with history since the Rodney King riots took place in 1992, after Ice Cube left the group in 1989, and N.W.A. has disbanded in 1991 shortly following the release of their swan song, “Efil4zaggin.”
Casting delays plagued the production’s start date. The final roles were cast with Ice Cube’s son playing his father and Leverage’s Aldis Hodge in the role of M.C. Ren Jackson; Hodge will star alongside Corey Hopkins. Jason Mitchell will take on the role of the charismatic Erik Lynn Wright aka Eazy-E, who died in 1995 from complications due to A.I.D.S. The film will also feature actors portraying Snoop Dogg and Warren G.
While N.W.A. was one of the largest rap groups ever, only Dr. Dre pulls his weight in the industry having earned several Grammy awards in the past few years, and The Chronic surpassing the six million mark, while Ice Cube has since neglected his music career to focus on acting in family films and comedies. His last solo album I Am the West only sold 22,000. M.C. Ren went on to release less than a handful of solo albums, none of which saw much in the way of radio airplay or album sales. Straight Outta Compton will hit theaters this summer on August 14, 2015.