In a 1989 piece for the LA Weekly,the late writer Jonathan Gold perfectly described the title track of N.W.A.'s first album, "Straight Outta Compton," as sounding "violent even before anyone says a word...The beat is scary all by itself." So if hardcore gangsta rap isn't your cup of Olde English malt liquor, the number-two grossing music bio pic may not be for you.
The arc follows N.W.A (Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, etc.) on the group's meteoric rise from the streets of Compton, California to rap stardom, and inevitable break-up. The in-studio and live concert musical scenes pack a wallop. And all the acting leads do a convincing job, particularly Ice Cube's own real-life son, O'Shea Jackson Jr., playing his father.