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  • N.W.A

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  • #2
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    • #3
      Last edited by UkrainianGuy; September 20, 2015, 01:35 PM.
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      • #4
        Ice Cube Will Reunite N.W.A for BET Experience Show

        Rapper talks performing with MC Ren and DJ Yella and revisiting 'Straight Outta Compton' classics

        By Kory Grow June 8, 2015

        Ice Cube will perform N.W.A songs from 'Straight Outta Compton' at his BET Experience concert. Raymond Boy/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

        Ice Cube will revisit his gangsta past later this month, when he performs numerous N.W.A songs with MC Ren and DJ Yella at a Los Angeles concert. "It's just gonna be a great night," Ice Cube tells Rolling Stone of his BET Experience gig at the Staples Center on June 27th. "We're gonna be there with Snoop, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q. It's just gonna be one of those 'I wish I were there in L.A. nights.' And we're gonna rock that shit, no problem."

        Ice Cube on Reliving N.W.A for 'Straight Outta Compton' »

        The reunion comes before the release of Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A biopic he co-produced with Dr. Dre and Eazy-E's widow Tomica Woods-Wright. The movie, which comes out August 14th, covers the 10-year span between the group's fornation in the mid-Eighties through Eazy-E's death in 1995.

        "I'm gonna bring out some of the old favorites," Cube says of the concert, declining to name which specific songs he'll perform. "We're gonna bring back some memories up in there for sure."
        The festival, whose official name is the "BET Experience at L.A. Live, Presented by Coca-Cola," will take place between June 25th and the 28th. Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart, Bell Biv Devoe, the Roots and others are all slated to perform, with tickets now available. "Not only am I a fan of BET and I'm really grateful that BET is still around and doing events of this magnitude, but for it to be in my hometown, L.A., and for me to perform at the Staples Center, it's a real cool notch on my belt," Ice Cube says. "It's great in so many ways." The rapper spoke to Rolling Stone about what to expect on the historic night.

        When is the last time you got onstage with MC Ren and DJ Yella?
        The last time I performed with Yella was 1989. That was a long time, but with Ren, it was the Up in Smoke Tour [in 2000]. It was real cool to be onstage with him again, but that's still been 15 years ago. So it's real cool to get up there and with the excitement around Straight Outta Compton, the movie. I think people are going to just be extra excited to get a glimpse of us.

        Why wasn't Yella a part of the Up in Smoke Tour?
        That was a tour that was pretty much spearheaded by Dre, so I don't know. But that tour was fun, and it was big.

        So you'll be doing songs from Straight Outta Compton at the BET Experience. Which ones?
        I can't give up everything [laughs]. You gotta make it to the Staples Center. I want to keep that a secret and just bring back memories, keep it rockin'. You know, old-school hip-hop at its finest.

        On your recent tours, you've done "Straight Outta Compton" and "Gangsta Gangsta." How does it feel to revisit those?
        I love 'em. It also reminds me of how far I've come in entertainment and hip-hop. I always like to give people a taste of my history. I've got so many records I could do, so I just want to make sure I spread it out and people get a taste of songs they like. It's not a bad problem to have.

        When you hear your voice on Straight Outta Compton, does it sound like a different person?
        It sounds like me. Dre's productions still hold up and it just sounds like a...I mean, "younger me" ain't the word 'cause that's just cliché. But [we were] extremely hungry to be accepted in hip-hop. When we first came out, we was locals. We never really knew our music was going to go this far, so we had our expectations high. It worked out, I'd say.

        How do you get back into that N.W.A headspace when you do these songs?
        Same shit's going on. It doesn't change with the calendar. So it's easy. The rage is still there because the problems are still there. I've always said what I need to say and that ain't never gonna change. My personal success is irrelevant to the rhymes I write and what I talk about, how I feel about society.
        "'Fuck tha Police' was a song 400 years in the making."
        With everything going on in the world, do you feel a song like "Fuck tha Police" means more now more than ever?
        You know, actually, it don't. That song is still in the same place before it was made. It's our legacy here in America with the police department and any kind of authority figures that have to deal with us on a day-to-day basis. There's usually abuse and violence connected to that interaction, so when "Fuck tha Police" was made in 1989, it was 400 years in the making. And it's still just as relevant as it was before it was made.

        The Straight Outta Compton movie preview shows some tense moments with police. Was there a specific incident that made you write "Fuck tha Police"?
        Just harassment. At the time, Daryl Gates, who was the chief of police over at the LAPD, had declared a war on gangs. A war on gangs, to me, is a politically correct word to say a war on anybody you think is a gang member. So the way we dressed and the way we looked and where we come from, you can mistake any kid for a gang member. Any good kid. Some of them dress like gangbangers, and they go to school every day because that's the fashion in the neighborhood. So to declare that, it meant a war on every black kid with a baseball hat on, with a T-shirt on, some jeans and some tennis shoes. So it was just too much to bear, to be under that kind of occupying force, who was abusive. It's just, enough is enough. Our music was our only weapon. Nonviolent protest.

        And then you heard from the FBI.
        Yeah, the "Federal Bureau of Intimidation."

        So much for freedom of speech.
        It's like what Ice-T said, "freedom of speech, just watch what you say."

        In 2000, Dr. Dre told Rolling Stone he was working on an N.W.A album on the road on the Up in Smoke tour. Whatever happened to that music?
        That idea probably went up in smoke [laughs].

        Will Dre be at the Staples Center, too?
        You know, if you wish upon a star, you never know [laughs]. You never know. It's like, I hope he blesses us with his presence. But if not, I've been rockin' for a long time without anybody. So whoever shows up, I'm still gonna rock. Whoever don't show up, we still gonna rock.

        Are you guys working on new music for the Straight Outta Compton soundtrack?
        We're definitely dibbling and dabbling, so to speak. It's all about how great it comes out when you're creating something. We can throw anything together; we can put rhymes and beats together easy. But our expectation level is so high, and if we meet our threshold, the world gets to hear what it is. If we don't, we still need more time together to make it happen. It's really some TLC, tender love and care, being put into these records. We'll see what it is.

        What do you think Jerry Heller will make of the Straight Outta Compton movie?
        I don't care.

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        • #5
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          • #6
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            • #7

              How 'Straight Outta Compton' Became a Summer Blockbuster

              Corey Hawkins, O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Jason Mitchell in 'Straight Outta Compton.' Jaimie Trueblood/Universal Studios

              Grossing an estimated $60 million this weekend, the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton has already been established as one of summer's most unlikely non-franchise blockbusters and bona fide box-office smashes, dwarfing the openings of higher-profile offerings such as Fantastic Four and Terminator Genisys. (And, if that number holds, it will have had a better first weekend than even Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the crowned king of this season's name-brand entries which debuted with a domestic haul of $55.5 million according to Box Office Mojo.) But in hindsight, Compton's sleeper-success story isn't that surprising at all. The signs were there all along that this epic biopic would be a hit straight outta the gate.

              1. It's a superhero story of a different kind.
              Although SOC is a biopic, its structure isn't that far removed from the comic-book movies that have dominated the box office in recent years. Director F. Gary Gray chronicles the formation of the Los Angeles gangsta-rap collective as if it's an origin story, showing how Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E and the rest of the band first hooked up. Even more so than in the misbegotten Fantastic Four reboot, this supergroup tale is really about an unlikely bunch of ordinary people who team up to do something extraordinary. And don't think that Gray, a one-time hip-hop video director who previously partnered with Cube on the 1995 hit Friday, doesn't see the parallels between the band and its costumed counterparts: In one telling scene, he even has the group members stride down the street in mythmaking slow-motion, each clad in their uniforms of windbreakers, black jeans and black baseball caps
              2. Nostalgia rules.
              Hollywood has been in the midst of a 1980s revival for a few years now, remaking many of its iconic films from the Reagan-to-Rubik's Cube age. What's funny, though, is that they've been busts across the board, with new versions of Robocop, Poltergeist, Red Dawn and Nightmare on Elm Street all underperforming. Maybe that's why Compton didn't: It told a new nostalgic story rather than simply recycling an old one. And it's also important to remember that hip-hop itself has been looking back of late: Whether it's Eminem's 2013 single "Berzerk," which heavily sampled Licensed to Ill-era Beastie Boys, or the Bush I-era kids of the Sundance hit Dope, the past is very much present. "Nineties hip-hop in particular really shaped what became the common pop cultural language that we all speak," Dope director Rick Famuyiwa told Rolling Stone earlier this summer. And that language was very much shaped by N.W.A.

              3. The uncomfortable parallels to current racial tension were unmistakable.
              All credit to Universal, which released the film, for not exploiting the obvious connections between the movie's late-Eighties/early-Nineties racial tensions and our own in its marketing. Nonetheless, it was impossible to miss how the climate that provoked a song like "Fuck tha Police" remains distressingly alive and well in the Ferguson era. Nostalgic rap fans may have been drawn to the time period, but N.W.A's lyrics about police brutality, poverty and racism couldn't be more relevant in 2015. Watching scenes of the band being victimized by thuggish police officers, it felt queasily reminiscent of recent videos of Walter Scott and Eric Garner dying at the hands of law enforcement.

              4. Good reviews made a difference.
              The conventional wisdom is that reviews don't matter when it comes to summer blockbusters. (Critics savaged the Transformers movies, and they still all made beaucoup bank.) But a high rating on Rotten Tomatoes can convince viewers on the fence to give a film a shot. Compton clearly benefited, earning some of the strongest reviews of the season for a wide studio release. The movie's 88% fresh rating is far higher than this summer's biggest hits Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Minions. (Only critical sensations like Inside Out, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Spy scored better.) And if good reviews translate into strong word-of-mouth from audiences, SOC could have serious commercial legs, with the hardcore N.W.A fans that came out opening weekend being replaced in subsequent weeks by the uninitiated who just want to see a good movie.

              5. N.W.A never really went away.
              Although N.W.A haven't released an album of new material in 24 years, its influence is everywhere, and not just in music. Yes, Dre and Cube have enjoyed massive solo careers, with the former — now known as "hip-hop's first billionaire" — releasing Compton: A Soundtrack, his first new album since 1999's 2001, to commemorate the movie's opening. (And Dre's 1992 classic The Chronic remains one of the most important blueprints in contemporary hip-hop.) And the latter's film career may have been just as important to the biopic's success: From Boyz n the Hood to his family comedies (Are We There Yet?, Ride Along) to his pokerfaced portrayal of the gruff police captain in the smash Jump Street comedies, he's been a legit movie star for so long that some of his youngest fans weren't even born when he first started rapping.

              And then there's the musical acts Dre has mentored over the years: Even if movie audiences didn't grow up on N.W.A, they know Snoop Dogg, Eminem, The Game, 50 Cent or Kendrick Lamar, to name just a few of the producer's biggest protégés. In this way, Straight Outta Compton is another kind of origin story, flashing back to the beginnings of a West Coast sound that remains ubiquitous in popular music.

              6. Hashtags and retweets, 140 characters in these streets.
              In the music business, labels will employ street teams to help spread the word about its up-and-coming groups on a grassroots, city-by-city level. In the social media era, Compton's backers essentially did the same with a brilliant hashtag. #Straightoutta and the StraightOuttaSomewhere website, run by Beats by Dre, allowed fans to "rep your city" by personalizing N.W.A's underdog/outlaw ethos, filling in the "Straight Outta ______" tag with their own burg. It soon became a meme that took on a life of its own: #straightoutta was adopted by everyone from comedy writers to the Obama administration, which promoted its contentious nuclear deal with Iran by tweeting a picture of a nuclear facility with the title "Straight Outta Uranium." It's entirely possible that a lot of people who got in on the #straightoutta craze haven't even gotten around to seeing the film yet.

              7. Compton opened at just the right time on the calendar.
              While August is part of the industry's summer movie season, the month lacks the commercial heat of May, June and July, when the biggest potential blockbusters dominate mulitplexes. With Labor Day and the start of school looming, August releases don't have as great a chance of being huge moneymakers, and so studios tend to put out films in which they have a little less confidence — or that they're willing to roll the dice on. (Sometimes, the studios come up big; see Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy.) Without any major box-office competition, Straight Outta Compton had the benefit of being the one broadly appealing movie out there at the moment — and also the only one that didn't feature superheroes, superspies or animated minions talking gibberish.

              8. Controversy sells.
              "I'm the motherfucking villain," N.W.A's MC Ren rapped on "Straight Outta Compton," setting the tone for the band's bad-boy image. And although the biopic is a mostly positive look at the group's rise from poverty, SOC hasn't entirely been free of controversy. Some criticized the film for sidestepping Dre's violent 1991 altercation with journalist Dee Barnes — "I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life," Dre recently told Rolling Stone about the incident — and, in the wake of deadly shootings at screenings for The Dark Knight Rises and Trainwreck, some theaters beefed up security for the film. (Happily, there were no reports of altercations this weekend.) Eerily, these events echo the moment in Compton in which the band discovers that the FBI are protesting their music: What might have seemed like a detriment may, in fact, have become other ways to spread the word about the film.

              9. Even Marco Rubio loves N.W.A.
              For all of N.W.A's rep for violent lyrics and incurring the wrath of the FBI back in the day, the truth is that time has a way of sanding off the rough edges of even the most controversial artists. For proof, look no further than recent comments by Florida senator and GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. A staunch conservative he may be, but Rubio has long waved the flag for West Coast hip-hop, called rappers "modern-day poets" and even tweeted his enthusiasm for seeing Straight Outta Compton on opening night. (No word if the senator actually made it to a theater this weekend.) Even if it's merely a craven ploy to appeal to younger and African-American voters, Rubio's strategy suggests that even a once-seemingly dangerous group like N.W.A, at long last, has been embraced into the soothing normalcy of mainstream American culture.

              This story has been updated to reflect the change in reported opening-weekend grosses from $56 million to $60.2 million.
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              • #8
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                • #9
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                  • #10
                    I am going to have to watch that straight out of Compton movie.