The N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton will hit theaters August 14th, and hip-hop pioneer Fab Five Freddy traveled to the Los Angeles neighborhood to go behind the scenes of the upcoming movie and take a tour of Compton with the members of the group.
Fab Five Freddy first interviewed N.W.A in Compton in the late Eighties – the video flashes back to footage from that Yo! MTV Raps episode, including an interview atop a moving flatbed truck – and both he and Dr. Dre express their disbelief that, a quarter-century later, a biopic is being made about the influential rap group.
“I would have never thought we’d be here making a movie about my life, man. This is crazy,” Dre tells Freddy. In the making-of video, we see how hands-on Ice Cube and Dr. Dre were with the production, including a brief shot of The Chronic rapper showing actor Corey Hawkins, who plays Dre in the film, the hand gestures the Doctor used when spinning records.
As for the producers’ decision to shoot the film on location in Compton, MC Ren tells Freddy, “We have to go there to do it right. That’s how it started. It started in the hood.” Ice Cube, who was one of the driving forces to get the biopic made, adds, “This is a dream-come-true project that I never thought I was gonna be able to get off.”
On Dr. Dre’s The Pharmacy Beats 1 radio show, the producer talked about his initial ambivalence towards the film – “I don’t want anything to pour water on my legacy” – and how the first few scripts were “corny.” However, Ice Cube’s subsequent involvement in the project made Dre less wary.
“Ice Cube, he actually grabbed the bull by the horns. He went in and got the script done and I read this new script that he brung in and it was like, ‘Oh, ok, I like that,'” Dre said. “Then, when [director] Gary Gray decided he wanted to come on board and direct, I’m like, ‘Ok, we might have something here.'”