L.A back in the early 90s, my Hip Hop video Bros all rolled with Gary , the trusted young video director who had the ear of Ice Cube , DJ Quick, Snoop Dogg and others . The crews knew Gary had the hook up in the very tight and new career opportunity for young black males. Looking back it’s amazing the bold vision as only BET had the national reach , and even then conservative Black America periodically condemned gangsta rap, causing the TV outlets to censor hip hop content.
Even more reason to congratulate Mr. Gray for presenting N.W.A’s tale as much as his own as a member of a category of Americana deemed ‘Menace to Society’. Success is the revenge , and as boxing impresario Don King chanted , ‘Only in America ‘.
EXCLUSIVE: Studio execs who thought of F. Gary Gray as a go-to guy for taut thrillers like The Italian Job, The Negotiator, Law Abiding Citizen and Be Cool already are reassessing as Straight Outta Compton opens tomorrow with rave reviews and strong box office expectations. The film chronicles the fast rise and fall of N.W.A and the birth of streetwise poets who reflected the poverty, gangs, drugs, guns and heavy-handed law enforcement that was part and parcel of living in the Los Angeles ghetto. The film is very personal for Gray, who is around the same age and grew up in South Central Los Angeles just miles from N.W.A members Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella. There is a Social Network atom-splitting depiction of the birth of an important cultural movement in Straight Outta Compton, and an underdog story of the struggle of young men…
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