By Marshall Cearfoss
News Editor

Along with the fact that I really wanted to see this film, I pretty much had every man, woman, child, lawyer, priest, cup, and household appliance tell me that I should see it. So, naturally, I took the leap of faith.

For me, trailers can ruin a movie – as seen in my Fantastic Four review – so I decided to avoid all trailers and promos for this film, because I wanted to experience the full effect of this one without having lofty expectations. AND IT PAID OFF.

In a nutshell, this is the story of how the rap group NWA started off as a bunch of young guys who liked making beats in their mother’s homes, then eventually became the multimillion dollar success that we all know. Some of the stars of this group include Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.).

FUN FACT: O’Shea is Ice Cube’s son. Most of you probably knew that, but I didn’t at first, and I almost had a brain aneurism by how blown away I was at how identical of a lookalike they got to play Ice Cube… I swore he could have been Cube’s son… Needless to say, my swearing came to fruition.

First, let’s get the least impressive aspect of the movie out of the way: The cliché success story. Although it was an incredible story (boosted by the fact that it’s a true story), it pretty much was just like every other “From rags to riches” movie. If you’ve seen the Rocky series, it’s pretty much that, except with a lot fewer punches, a lot more rapping, and WHOLE LOT more uses of the word ‘dope.’

Now that the only mundane part of this film is out of the way, let’s talk about the ‘dope’ parts.

If someone would have told me that Ice Cube’s son played his dad, I would have assumed that they only chose him because he looked like his father, and his acting would be so-so. Well, I wouldn’t have been more wrong. O’Shea was a spectacular actor; he assumed the role of his father so well, I almost felt like I was watching Frozen Water Square himself. {Wait, what? Really? I can’t? At all? Ugh, fine.} I’ve just been informed that Ice Cube still insists on being called Ice Cube, instead of Frozen Water Square.

Anyway, O’Shea’s acting, along with the rest of his group, was phenomenal. In one scene where the group is reacting to the death of a loved one (I… Wouldn’t necessarily call that a flat out spoiler), you truly feel as if the actors themselves had just lost a close friend or family member. So, to summarize, the acting was sufficiently ‘dope.’

Next up, the music. Now, I must inform the readers that I am not a frequent listener of hip-hop, rap, or R&B (as I skip to the next ‘Explosions In The Sky’ song), so this review is from the perspective of someone who is entirely unaware of what “good” rap sounds like. I thought the music was… Alright. To me, the best part of the music was watching how much the genre of music had evolved over the course of a mere seven years! Also, it was incredible to see exactly how influential these men had been on the nation, despite only being armed with a mic and something to say. Needless to say, the musical mastery in this film was rather ‘dope.’

Finally, I’ll leave you with this parting note: If you wish to see a raw, unfiltered perspective of American culture in the 80’s and 90’s from the African American standpoint, both from impoverished and wealthy eyes, this is a sensational film to watch. In other words, it’s pretty ‘dope.’

If you go watch this film, I’d recommend Times Square Cinema. When you roll up to the ticket booth, tell them yo’ lil’ G’ Marsh talked about this ‘dope’ movie.