Former N.W.A. rap stars Dr. Dre and Ice Cube are joined by Corey Hawkins (who plays Dre), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Cube’s son) and Jason Mitchell (as Eazy-E) on the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, promoting their upcoming film Straight Outta Compton – which highlights the rise of the popular and very controversial rap group from Compton, CA.
In the feature, Dre and Cube finally break their silence on Suge Knight‘s murder charge, police violence and more!
Check it out below:
Dr. Dre on how N.W.A’s controversial songs about inner-city life mirror police violence today: “It’s crazy how we were getting criticized for this years ago. And now, it’s just like, ‘OK, we understand.’ This movie will keep shining a light on the problem, especially because of all the situations that are happening in Ferguson and here in Los Angeles. It’s definitely going to keep this situation in people’s minds and make sure that everyone out there knows that this is a problem that keeps happening still today.”
Cube on N.W.A.’s rap start: “It was always about free speech, being able to express yourself, whether people like it or not. That’s the great thing about being in this country, is to be able to speak your mind and not be censored.”
Director F. Gary Gray on being involved with the movie: “I sat with Dre for hours, sometimes days, going over what happened. ‘Tell me the story again. Tell me who was there. Tell me why this happened and what were you thinking and what was your motivation and what do you think Eazy was thinking.’ I didn’t want people to watch the movie and feel like they didn’t learn anything beyond what they could find on Google.”
Cube on his son getting the role to play him in the movie: “I know a lot of people thought I was just throwing him in there ’cause I could. But that wasn’t the case. I knew he was right for this.”
O’Shea Jack Jr.: “My father would call me before each scene to let me know what he was thinking. A lot of it was getting me to not act. I have so much of his mannerisms and things already in me that I wouldn’t want to be onscreen doing an impersonation. You can do an impersonation or you could become the character. I really was trying to break down those acting walls and just let everything flow.”
Dre on making the movie in Compton: “I haven’t lived in Compton for quite a while, but it felt great,” says Dre, who was on the set as a producer nearly every day of the production. “Everybody was really excited about the fact that we were not only making a movie but making it in Compton. It feels like Compton is another character.”
Dre on what happened that day on the set that eventually let to Suge Knight being charged with murder: “I was there. But I was just leaving, so I didn’t know what happened until I was halfway home. I heard about it over the phone. Everybody was supportive everywhere we went, and we didn’t have one issue throughout the entire filming of the movie. It’s crazy that this happened during the f—ing filming of the commercial…..It’s just a really unfortunate incident. Maybe [Knight] was looking for trouble. I don’t know.”
Cube on the Suge Knight murder incident: “It’s the dangerous part of living in South Central. Some people don’t care if you’re making a movie or not. It’s unfortunate because the movie is so good, so creative, so many talented people involved.”
Images: Eric Ray Davidson for THR