During a newly-released interview with Variety, actor/rapper Ice Cube was asked about the “We got something to say” mantra featured in Straight Outta Compton, and whether or not Hip Hop still has something to say after all these years.
According to Cube, Hip Hop artists today have become caught up in what he referred to as “escapism rap.” He added that rappers “have taken the easy way out” by resorting to escapism rap.
“I think it’s always going to have the potential to have something to say,” Ice Cube said. “It’s really up to the artists. The ‘something to say’ has been really kind of drained out of hip-hop. It started to lose its steam in about ’93 and escapism rap became the top dog. When I say ‘escapism rap,’ I mean talking about weed, getting high, cars, women, jewelry, money — a whole bunch of excess. Don’t worry about your real problems, just go to the strip club and smoke them away. So that started to take over and we ain’t really came out of that, because all that stuff is fun. It’s cool to do. There ain’t no struggle in it. It ain’t hard. Anybody can do it. So I think hip-hop heads have taken the easy way out.”
Towards the end of the interview, Ice Cube was asked if Straight Outta Compton could have been more honest, given that the movie didn’t touch on Dr. Dre’s alleged assault on journalist Dee Barnes, and other notable events in the history of N.W.A.
In response to the question, the rapper touched on the inability to fit everyone’s story in such a short amount of time.
“I believe trying to put 10 years or more into two-and-a-half hours, there’s no way in the world you’re going to be able to tell everybody’s story,” he said. “I didn’t put this together by myself. I put this together with the blessing of [MC] Ren, [DJ] Yella, Easy[-E]’s widow Tomica [Woods], Dr. Dre — and Gary wasn’t going to just take my version of what happened. He did his own research and his own interviews. So to me, the movie is an accurate account of N.W.A, the rise and fall of the group. I’m pretty sure you can probably make nine, 10 different versions of the N.W.A movie. They’ve done about seven Elvis movies. So I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of different versions of what this movie could have been, and everybody is more than welcome to have a crack at it. But to me, we put together the best N.W.A movie that’s ever going to be put together, and if we left some people out, we left some stories out, there’s just too much to tell in two hours and 20 minutes.”
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