STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON: My 8th Grade Dream Comes True

Yeah, feast your eyes on that little piece of hipster cred.  That is my official membership card in the N.W.A fan club, acquired in the halcyon days of 1991, when I was even more suburban and whitebread than I am now.  And finally my other favorite group of junior high (tied with Public Enemy) will have their own bio-pic.

Director F. Gary Gray should be no stranger to we crime-fiends, whether he’s remembered fondly for such films as the 2003 remake of The Italian Job or 1996’s Set It Off (featuring a pre-Joyful Noise Queen Latifah), or remembered angrily for such garbage as 2009’s hyphen-less bore Law Abiding Citizen or the unforgivably bad adaptation of Be Cool, from Elmore Leonard’s novel of the same name.  Despite his missteps in the past, Gray is a good director, and for a story like N.W.A’s, I can’t think of a better guy to take it on.

Gray is well-acquainted with founding N.W.A member Ice Cube, Gray’s first feature film being Friday, the 1995 stoner comedy classic that made Cube a leading man.  Cube has had a major hand in getting the film this far, with his production company Cube Vision producing, according to Deadline.  And Gray has even passed up an opportunity to direct the sequel to last year’s Captain America in order to devote himself to that project.  If that doesn’t tell you that Gray is serious about bringing this story to the big screen and doing it well, then I don’t know what else I could possibly tell you.

No word as to the script yet, but I imagine it will delve into the backgrounds of all the members, bringing some clarity to the legends they would become.  Personally, I’m very much looking forward to seeing a young Eazy-E up on the big screen, idol to short guys everywhere.  I don’t think many will argue that E was hands-down the hardest core gangster in the group, dropping out of the 10th grade to make a better living dealing drugs.  Not that that is a positive message for our youth, but hey, I’m into crime fiction.  The story of a young inner-city kid taking his drug profits and investing them into the musical and creative basis for the now worldwide phenomenon of gangster rap, that story tugs at my heartstrings.

We will soon be about to witness the strength of street knowledge.

+Jimmy Callaway rules over Criminal Complex with an iron fist in a Playtex glove. He lives in San Diego, California.