Date: Tuesday, August 4. Venue: Apple Store, SoHo
HOT 97 host Ebro Darden set the tone for the most talked about movie of the year, Straight Outta Compton. One of the founding fathers of rap music turned actor, now filmmaker, Ice Cube, joined the cast, which included son O’Shea Jackson Jr., filmmaker F. Gary Gray, and actors Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre) and Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E).
Ebro opened up dialog with O’Shea, questioning him about life as the son of a prominent figure, versus his father’s struggle as a rising star, to which O’Shea characterized as a different kind of struggle.
F. Gary Gray tells the audience he was consumed with perfecting the film’s story and had the boys memorize the entire NWA album in about 8 weeks.
O’Shea (who plays the role of Ice Cube) is the youngest of the cast, but like his father, is outspoken and charismatic, referring to himself as the Beyonce of the bunch.
The topic touched on police brutality, as related in the movie and in current events. Ice Cube retells the moment during the beginning of his music career when the Los Angeles Chief of Police made a powerful statement about waging a war against gangs, but what the Chief of Police failed to mention, is that the Los Angeles police department viewed black stereotypes as a basis of evidence to persecute young black men, and so a war on gangs actually meant impunity to target young black men for police brutality. Cube revealed to the audience that the atrocities we see on police body cameras today have always been the black struggle now finally coming to light, and it is up to us to continue pushing for social and legal change. Cube also brings into perspective that since every country can attest to social injustice, NWA’s music reflects these kinds of injustices and still resonates, not only with his generation, but with future generations as well. He told us he is grateful to see in his lifetime bad cops being brought to justice and held accountable for their actions, but also encouraged the audience to keep pushing our leaders for more change.
Since 2011, F. Gary Gray put all his passion into the Straight Outta Compton movie and hails it his best work ever, better than previous movies The Italian Job and Set It Off. The budget of the movie was set at $29 million, a big investment so far. The floor then opened up for questioning, as fans asked Cube for creative advice, to which Cube reminded them to harness their creativity, create with love, and always be genuine.
Straight Outta Compton: In Theaters August 14th.
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