I loved N.W.A. I remember when Straight Outta Compton came out; it was essential listening, one of those albums you sat down with and figured out every song. “Fuck tha Police” is arguably the most important hip-hop song evah. I had a crush on Ice Cube. I didn’t excuse the misogyny, but I figured the good outweighed the bad.
That excuse doesn’t work anymore.
There were many things to like about the film Straight Outta Compton. But if you’re going to make a film based on real events, don’t rewrite history. N.W.A had problems, and bitches were major ones. Not only does F. Gary Gray’s bromance leave out such infamous incidents like Dr. Dre’s beating of reporter Dee Barnes; it creates a binary world of powerful men and powerless women. The few female characters with words are mostly nags and hoes; there is not a single well-developed women in the whole film. It more than fails the Bechdel Test; it unproblematically reinscribes music videos’ fixation with T&A. It’s more misogynist than N.W.A’s music.
I’m waiting for the answer rap film from Yo-Yo/Missy Elliott/Queen Latifah/MC Lyte.