14 Things We Learned About ‘Straight Outta Compton’
9. The movie’s reference to Friday‘s most famous line wasn’t planned. “Because the character’s name was Felicia in the movie,” says Gray. “And in the last take, Shea said, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if I said, ‘Bye, Felicia’? And I said, ‘Hell, yeah!’ So we did that particular shot one more time, and he said it and the crew died laughing, and I said, ‘I’m including that in the movie.’ It wasn’t by design. I wish we were that smart, but it just kind of fell in our lap.”
10. The rapping in the movie is a mix of the original recordings and the actors’ reenactments. “We just went with whatever feels the best,” says Gray. “There are moments where hearing the original members felt better than actors replicating it. And I think we did a pretty good job at just building an experience holistically as opposed to, ‘Here are the rules of film when it comes to biopics, and this person should sing this and this person should do that.’ We threw the rules out the door, you know? And it lends itself to the group.”
11. Gray’s first cut of the movie was an hour longer than the version in the theaters, and he expects to release a director’s cut for home video at some point. “The director’s cut is going to be great,” says Gray, who adds that it may more deeply address issues like the band’s lyrical treatment of women. “Ultimately, the core of the story is about N.W.A and about the rise and subsequent fall of the group. There are so many points of view that to include them all, it would be a five-hour movie. But certainly, there are some things that are not in the movie that could easily be in the movie if we had the time. Cube’s answer to criticism is, ‘Go make your own N.W.A movie and focus on what you want to focus on.’ We focused on what we thought was important.”
12. There are parts of the movie that freaked Ice Cube out.
“It’s shit turning on its ear, and then turning even more,” says Cube. “I wrote a song called ‘Boyz-n-the-Hood’ that ended up being the seed that grew Straight Outta Compton, the record. Through that, somebody discovered me and put me in a movie called Boyz n the Hood. And through doing that movie, I eventually gained enough experience in the movie industry to be able to do this movie called Straight Outta Compton. And my son is in it, and then you see a little version of him in the background of the movie. It just starts to make your mind spin.”
13. Ice Cube wanted the movie to show a lighter side of the group. “What’s cool about the movie is that it showed how much fun we were having,” he says. “We were kids, doing hip-hop and becoming famous. It’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, FBI? Oh, yeah — policemen too, huh?’ We were having fun until the police came and fucked with us. In between that, we were having fun. Coming from those neighborhoods, you don’t have this ‘Woe is me’ attitude. You have this, ‘Shit, I survived yesterday; I should be able to survive today, using my instincts. But where’s the fun at? What are we doing?’ We’re not just going to be sitting and sulking: ‘We’re living in Compton, man. Damn. World is fucked up.'”