Don’t look now, but a Filipino-American contributed to the enormous critical and commercial success of Universal Pictures’ Straight Outta Compton, which traces the rise of influential (and notorious) rap group N.W.A. The film’s Director of Photography is none other than Oscar-nominated Fil-Am cinematographer Matthew Libatique, himself a life-long fan of hip-hop music.
Casting for the key roles of a complex, emotional, real-life street drama like Universal Pictures’ Straight Outta Compton was highly personal and took an immense effort by director F. Gary Gray. Of course, their goal when casting the five coveted roles was the full package of triple-threat performers—who could act, look the part and perform with an unfiltered intensity that channeled N.W.A. members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren.
The filmed story of N.W.A. (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) is straight outta record books. Thanks to consecutive weeks atop the US box-office, Universal Pictures’ Straight Outta Compton has earned its place in history as the highest-grossing music biopic ever, with a smash box-office haul of #157 million (as of September 17, 2015). The previous champ, “Walk The Line,” about Johnny and June Carter Cash, had grossed $119 million.
In 1987, five young men, using brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats, put their frustration and anger about life in the most dangerous place in America into the most powerful weapon they had: their music.