Straight Outta… Beverly Hills?

It’s been about a year since I first heard, and got excited about the development of the proposed N.W.A. biopic, Straight Out of Compton. Since then, there’s been little to no news about the film until this past weekend.

Unfortunately, Straight Outta Compton made headlines not because people are just as excited to see signs of advancement on the project as I am, but because Andrea Berloff, the person hired to write it is White… and *gasps* female!

“Having a White writer on Black-themed projects, especially biopics, is a fairly recent trend,” read an article in the Hollywood Reporter. “Especially noteworthy is that the person tackling the N.W.A. adaptation is a White woman.”

“Especially noteworthy,” huh?

Now of course there are a few sides to this argument:

Who cares if the person writing the film is a White female? What difference does that make?

She’s obviously a qualified writer. She’s responsible for penning the screenplay for Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center and The Fugees (an adaptation of a New York Times article about a group of international refugee soccer kids who settle in Atlanta). She’s not just some White girl off the street. She’s a professional!

There are plenty of people who could tell you everything there is to know about N.W.A. but does that mean they’re necessarily qualified to write this film? No. But Berloff is. And what does race have to do with anything? How would you feel if someone told you you couldn’t do something because of your race/gender?

While the other school of thought is thinking more along the lines of:

Are they seriously about to let a White woman write about N.W.A… N.W.A.!?!!?!?!?

Berloff’s race and gender should disqualify her automatically. How can a White woman ever fully grasp the history, importance, and significant of N.W.A.’s presence to present it accurately? After all, there is a very long history of Whites being ignorant to the value of Black culture and/or becoming involved with it and manipulating it for their own benefit.

There are movies based on Martin Luther King, Richard Pryor and Rick James, all in the works right now and all of them are slated to be documented by Whites. You don’t see Black writers working on major films about Whites, and even when it comes to Black films they’re still not writing them. Is it that hard to find qualified Black writers? And N.W.A. of all subjects? With their notoriously incendiary lyrics and controversial history it seems like they couldn’t have placed anyone more opposite on the project.

And then there’s my thoughts:

If Cube and Tomika Woods-Wright (Eazy-E’s widow) are on board with it, who cares?

I mean as long as they don’t go stretching the truth like certain biopics (…yeah, I said it) who cares?

What I’d really like to know is, how much involvement will Jerry Heller, Dre, Yella, and MC Ren etc. have with the movie? We let Diddy sell us dreams about Biggie in Notorious, are we going to have that happen again with Straight Outta Compton? I sure hope not.

Being Black doesn’t necessarily qualify to know anything more about N.W.A. than the next person. However, I would like to know how much Ms. Berloff knows about hip-hop and more importantly what are her attitudes towards it? I’d hope that because she signed on to write it, she’d have some interest in the subject and not just taking on the project for a paycheck. Forget her gender/race what is her history and what are her motives?

This is a great story to tell and I just don’t want anyone to fuck it up…

What do you think? Does it matter that she’s White? How do you feel about it? —Brooklyne Gipson

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  • Iz

    All I know is I’m a faggot.

    • yo

      I think it matters that she’s a woman because alot of the lyrics and attitudes in N.W.A.’s rap are derogotory towards women, and the general consensus is that she may bring a female bias into the picture and talk about the negative connataions of the rap towards women. A better question though is should the negative shit towards women be mentioned? And to what extent? And also a white person may not bring into focus so much the derogotory terms towards black people and tghe other side of the African-American community that was against those kinds of words

  • epinz

    naw, it shouldnt b an issue. i think its more of an issue cuz she a woman. i think if it was a white male, it wouldnt get the pub it did and u wouldnt b writing about it. as long as the shit is good and we feel it, than who cares? now if the shit is all fucked up, then we can start complainin. and if ice cube is down, who the fuck r we to complian? it aint like any of us was in nwa. shit, if mrs. wallace can have angela basset play her in a movie and diddy come across as yoda, and we accept the shit; then i dnt think theres a prob with anybody writing the nwa script as long as its good and acurate. plus whits been writing scripts about spanish, black, chinese, and italian culturs for years that we consider to be classic works of art. so why is this any diffrent?

  • Brahsef

    I’m sure it’ll be done fine, but it is a bit disturbing that all these biopics about black leaders/culture are being done by white people. It kinda goes hand in hand with the lack of blacks and especially hispanics in films.

    I’m white and love NWA, but their music connects to me in a different way then say a black kid from the hood who has really experienced racism/police brutality. Although maybe minor the biopic will def have some sort of white tinted glasses over it.

  • awesome arsenal

    CB4 II?

  • murkjob

    much respect to NWA, but this shit has wackjuice all over it…

  • $yk

    “You don’t see Black writers working on major films about Whites, and even when it comes to Black films they’re still not writing them. Is it that hard to find qualified Black writers?”

    ^ You’re missing the point. Straight up, Blacks have no who say in Hollywood. No matter how much they’re getting paid they are still WORKERS.

    Will Smith making millions did not parlay into being on the Board Of Directors @ Universal Studios. Will even has his own production company, but his films don’t get the same major push as the movies where he’s a WORKER.

    Denzel even said in an interview promoting ‘The Book Of Eli’ (own movie) that he wants to go back to performing on Broadway, and was moving back to NY after the movie. HE WAS TIRED OF ‘THEM’ (HOLLYWOOD) TELLING HIM WHAT TO ACT IN AND HOW TO ACT.

    Did Cube go to the film schools to check for an ethnic writer/fan? Or did they pick the best people they could find around them/they know?

    If she does a damn good job what will be the sentiment then?

    “Although maybe minor the biopic will def have some sort of white tinted glasses over it.”

    ^ ‘X’ did. Y’all don’t remember Spike having a fit over that movie?

  • The Decatur Dictator

    @ $yk- I fully agree. The reason I like Tyler Perry (I know man…)is because he does his own movies his way- But if the movie is good…then the movie is good, if it’s garbage, then we will all have an opinion huh?

    • $yk

      “The reason I like Tyler Perry (I know man…)”

      ^ ewwwwww

      But good example. Need more like him. We have no representatives on TV like Norman Lear with the sitcoms, or the Spelling guy, Or like the ‘Law & Order’ people. All we do are reality shows and cartoons.

      The same people who watched Will Smith’s TV show w/Jada as a doctor are the same ones who will watch Cube’s TV show.

      And we know 85% of the people will watch this NWA movie caught up in the gangster and won’t care if a white woman wrote it or Ahkmed from the corner store did.

  • yacine_

    What’s your gripe about NOTORIOUS ? It was pretty faithful to UNBELIEVABLE (the original biography it was based on) ? Could you elaborate ?

  • Anonymous

    As long as she stays true to the history of the group then it shouldnt matter.

  • daddy

    black people are proud of NWA AND no european woman will ever be able to document it anyway except her own perspective of it. bot look at vh1 hiphophonors its good right? white people

  • Jaykwon Smithers

    Hey nigger!! That water fountain is for whites only. Think about that before you say she can’t write and do a good job with the project because she is white.

  • concernedhumanbeing

    The larger issue here is how NWA ever ascended to iconic state. That the black community sat silently by as bangers and thugs co-opted black culture from 1980 onward is truly a crime against humanity.

    This silence allowed the current set of bangers to set the agenda for black culture. Lil Wayne. Plies. Young Jeezy. Hova. Young Dro. Rick Ross. D4L. Young Buck. 50. Soulja Boy. on and on and on and on.

    Besides advocating violence against police officers, NWA’s misogyny was horrific. Still today,this attitude towards women is prevalent in rap. Look no further than Lil Wayne’s “Alpha Bitches”

    Black urban America is currently suffering from a constellation of ills. Considering what black youth fill their heads with from day one, this is no surprise.

    I ache for the loss of MLK.

  • Chiliz

    Stressed out & lonely..pls can sumbody assist me on how do i go about improving my constant present situation.

  • vansur

    It should be fine, skin color should not be an issue and to the person that commented on will smith and black community in hollywood, being to hooked up on racism causes racism, when you say a white female cant right about that subject IS racist, the president is BLACK, soo… come on..and please someone dont comment saying Obama is HALF it doesnt count cuz thats some ignorant shit, and no matter what happens theres always gunna be a form of racism ..blacks have it towards whites, whites have it towards chinese, chinese towards whatver the fuck it is…is comes down to mentality not skin get off the honky bullshit, maybe in the south i dont know..but im white from the north and i have black, japanese white friends.. I’m friends with real dudes not specific..just treat everyone with the respect that applies to them

  • MIt

    fun fact–white people bought NWA tapes from day one. they were single handedly the group that made rap cross over full on into the white demographic and not turn back–if they didn’t do it, famous alum Dr. Dre sure did with the Chronic and basically ruined hip-hop by making it about “f*ck making records, we can handle it in the streets” and selling horrible black on black violence as pop music. the beats are hot so he is forgiven. and also, does anyone ever put NWA into the lineage of blowfly, dolomite, richard pryor, renaldo rey? seriously, with the exception of Cube solo they fit into that more than say, the Black Panthers. duh.

  • MIt

    at least that’s what i saw ^^ on one side of town. please, anyone with a different view speak up. peace.

  • Jae Fatal

    @ concernedhumanbeing

    PLEEAAASSSSSSE! Shut the FUCK UP wit all dat self righteous bullshit. Don’t nobody wanna hear that.

    You act like NWA was taking the average woman from off the street and str8 slanderin her.

  • SansBeach

    How about they just dont do the movie at all. I dont see the reason to even do it. I dont like biopics. People always stretch the truth and omit things.
    And I feel like it takes away from the legacy. I think its good that some things remain a unknown and kept a secret. It adds to the mystique of the artist and keeps some remaining interest there as well