Follow TV Tropes


Film / Straight Outta Compton

Go To
"You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge!"

This page is about the 2015 film. If you're looking for the page about the group's album with the same name, click here.

Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 biopic detailing the rise and fall of the groundbreaking, and equally controversial, rap group N.W.A, directed by F. Gary Gray and starring Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti, and O'Shea Jackson Jr., the son of group member Ice Cube in his debut leading role. Group members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre served as executive producers and consultants alongside MC Ren, DJ Yella and Tomica Woods-Wright, the widow of Eazy-E.


Straight Outta Compton provides examples of:

  • The '80s: The band's earliest days and their childhood are depicted here.
  • The '90s: The height of their popularity occurs here.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: After hearing Ice Cube's absolutely scathing diss track "No Vaseline", Yella laughs and admits "that shit's kinda funny."
  • Adapted Out: The film has gotten some heat over glossing over, or outright ignoring key N.W.A. affiliates that were a large part of the group's success (JJ Fadd, Tairrie B, ect.) and ignoring Dr. Dre's notorious reputation as a woman beater during the Nineties in favor of featuring Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur in minor cameos.
    • Dre and Yella's past with their former group, World Class Wrecking Crew, and the Ruthless/Death Row diss records were also ignored.
    • Founding NWA members Krazy Dee and Arabian Prince were excluded from the film entirely, due to them leaving prior to the release of Straight Outta Compton.
    • Michel'le Toussaint was not present in the movie nor her history with Dre and Suge Knight.
    • Subverted with Dee Barnes, who was going to be in the movie but couldn't be covered in the movie's running time.
    • Advertisement:
    • The portrayal of Eazy-E's life after the NWA breakup was rather undermined. Significant events of Eazy-E's life was left out, such as his "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" diss track towards Dr. Dre and his successful lawsuit against Death Row Records for publishing Dre-produced songs while he was still signed to Eazy-E's Ruthless Records. Although there were a few mentions of them in the movie (including a tape being shown in Eazy's hospital room when Dre enters near the end of the film), Grammy-award winning group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony being signed by Eazy-E was not shown.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Just how much Jerry Heller ripped off the band is never clear. While the NWA was bringing in tens of millions and they were receiving (comparatively) paltry checks of $75,000 at the start, we also see them live extraordinarily extravagant lifestyles which Jerry, rightly, points out has costs they never ask about.
  • Anachronism Stew: 2Pac is seen at Death Row studios recording "Hail Mary" with Dre present near the end of the movie, and Eazy is still alive. In real life, Dre had already left Death Row before the Don Killuminati sessions, and Eazy already died from complications caused by AIDS.
    • Eazy-E is shown wearing his iconic White Sox cap in 1986. Unfortunately, said cap design didn't exist before 1991. Eazy DID sport that hat in Real Life, but it was after NWA's breakup and shortly before his death.
  • Angry Black Man: Ice Cube made a career playing these and certainly lives up to the role in this movie, at one point taking a bat to a Corrupt Corporate Executive's office. Subverted with the rest of the N.W.A who are portrayed as a great deal more mellow.
  • Arc Words: The film begins and ends with a sound byte from the real Dr. Dre- specifically "You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge. These are also the words that begin the record/album "Straight Outta Compton."
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Dr. Dre gets this from his mother in the near beginning of the film.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: An out-of-universe example. The real-life Jerry Heller complained the movie depicted him as a fraud who cheated his clients, that Eazy-E fired him for financial impropriety, and showed him eating a lobster brunch. The last one, apparently, really fired him up, most likely because Heller was a kosher-abiding Jew.
  • Artistic License – History: The movie takes several liberties with the actual history of the N.W.A. Some of which can be confirmed and some of which has had contradictory accounts. See also Anachronism Stew.
    • Ice Cube actually received the $75,000 dollar check Jerry Heller offered him at the beginning of the movie.
    • The band never reconciled with Eazy-E and most didn't attend his funeral. The movie's events is stated to have been how the band wished history had gone.
      • However, Ice Cube has stated the scene at the club where he and Eazy-E settle their differences actually happened. Dre has, likewise, stated that he visited Eazy in the hospital even if the latter wasn't aware of his presence due to his deteriorating condition.
    • Jerry Heller was never fired by Eazy-E and the two remained close until his death. Which is one of the major reasons for Heller's lawsuit over the film. He also heard "No Vaseline" before the rest of the group — and while irritated, he just asked his producers to remove his name from the lyrics – which they did.
    • The scene in which Eazy-E continues coughing and collapses during a jam session with Yella and Ren, forcing them to rush him to the hospital, never happened in real life. In actuality, Eazy-E checked himself into Cedars-Sinai Hospital for what he believed was acute bronchitis and received the AIDS diagnosis.
    • Eazy-E had something akin to thirty-million dollars in the bank at the time of his death and never lost his house.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • The memetic "Damn!" clip from Friday is used in the film's closing montage. The moment where Ice Cube types down Smokey's classic "You got knocked the fuck out!" line is also shown earlier on.
    • The movie also shows us the supposed origins of "Bye, Felicia" note .
  • Ax-Crazy: Suge Knight, just like in real life. Beating people is his solution to everything from getting Eazy to sign away Dre to pistol-whipping someone who parked in his parking spot.
  • Bad Boss: Jerry Heller, Bryan Turner, and Suge Knight are all depicted as scheming Corrupt Corporate Executive types.
  • Bald of Evil: Suge Knight is definitely this in the movie.
  • Battle Rapping: After Ice Cube leaves the group, and outsells them with AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, the remaining members of NWA attack him on the track "100 Miles And Runnin'". Cube took exception to this, as he made a conscious decision not to attack the group, and releases "No Vaseline". The end result? Ice Cube singlehandedly destroys NWA, exposes Jerry Heller's corruption, and causes Dre to leave Ruthless Records because of said corruption.
    • The film also Adapted Out any mention of "Fuckin wit Dre Day", Dr. Dre's own savage diss track on Eazy-E, which is notably one of Dre's best-performing singles. It puts Eazy-E's reaction in seeing bill boards for The Chronic into a different light.
  • Berserk Button: Don't make Ice Cube feel like he's being cheated or used.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Not only was Dre close to his younger brother, Tyree, he was also there to punch the living daylights out of someone who would harm his younger sibling. This brotherly love shown between the two makes a future scene more devastating when Dre breaks down crying after hearing the news of Tyree being killed.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After a bad break up, all of the members of NWA manage to reconcile shortly before Eazy dies from AIDS. Dre leaves Death Row to form Aftermath. Although his first album on his own (also titled Aftermath) would fail to capture the magic of The Chronic to say the least, he gets better.
  • Bowdlerized: AVERTED! When the movie premiered on FX on March 1, 2018 as a world broadcast premiere, the entire movie was completely uncut with the following disclaimer at the beginning, and abridged disclaimers coming out of every commercial break. Check out the warning to see for yourself.
    The following film is presented in its complete theatrical version. It was rated R by the MPAA and may not be appropriate for children under 17. It is rated TV-MA-LSV and contains strong language, sexual situations, violence and nudity. It is intended only for mature audiences. Viewer Discretion Advised.
  • Broad Strokes: Generally, the movie is stated to be this by the people involved in the real-life events with a few notable exceptions. Several of the more unbelievable scenes, however, actually did occur.
  • Category Traitor: The African American Dirty Cop who harasses NWA is presented as particularly nasty one and is even mocked by NWA in song lyrics and in person for being so aggressive to supposed black gangbangers just to appeal to his white officer cohorts. Even using more blatant anti-black racist dialogue to hammer home the trope.
  • Cigar Chomper: Suge Knight is often shown chewing on a stogie.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: It's a biopic about a gangsta rap group, so of course there are f-bombs abound—392, to be exact.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Suge Knight and his posse always dress in red. This is undoubtedly because of Knight's affiliation with the Bloods. Doubles as Red and Black and Evil All Over.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Bryan Turner and Jerry Heller are portrayed as this, though they don't seem like it at first.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits show the real life impact NWA left on the world, combined with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue on the surviving members.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A lyrical one as the N.W.A's verbal attacks on Ice Cube result in him releasing "No Vaseline" and utterly destroying them. Even the members are genuinely impressed with it.
  • Dead Artists Are Better: The film shows Eazy's last few years as Dre and Cube would like to remember him, and his death being most of the reason they started being friends again. In actuality the two were barely putting up with him at the time due to old wounds, while happily making music together.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Eazy makes quite a few snide remarks throughout the film. Ice Cube gets a few good ones in as well, but his snarks are generally more aggressive.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Police and FBI harassment of the group only increases their popularity.
  • Dirty Cop: Most of the cops the group comes across are this. Doubles as Truth in Television since a lot of police harassment toward blacks happened at that time, and is still happening today.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • When Suge Knight sees someone park in his spot, even though the guy quickly apologizes and offers to park somewhere else, his reaction is to pistol-whip the guy over and over until he's got him on the ground, then demand that he park Knight's car, also warning him not to get any bloodstains on it. It's around this point that Dre's initial doubts about working with him start to come back in force.
    • Jerry threatens to sue Ice Cube and tries to get the group riled up after "No Vaseline", which all of them just shrug off.
  • Establishing Character Moment: How the key members are introduced:
    • Eazy-E's shows that even when surrounded by a mob or at gunpoint, he won't back down, establishing his determination and cockiness.
    • Dre is seen with his head in the clouds, listening to soul and funk records in his room, foreshadowing showing how invested he would be into his music career and his choice of samples.
    • Ice Cube is first seen writing down rhymes on his school bus, but his true moment didn't happen until later at his first club performance, where he unleashes his biting socio-political lyrics on the crowd, establishing him both as a rebel (as he was told by Dre's uncle not to rap at all), and a social commentator on the microphone.
    • DJ Yella is seen talking up a girl (the girlfriend of the club's owner no less!)
    • Suge Knight is seen with the group after their first performance, talking in a somewhat creepy tone about how he can "Get stuff done." He can get stuff done, largely through beating and threatening people.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • While Jerry has done some underhanded things that resulted in the group's break-up, he is genuinely disturbed by the unfair treatment the NWA received by the Compton Police Department and showed disgust over the four police involved in the Rodney King trial being found innocent. He's also disturbed by Suge Knight's brazen and often violent ways of doing business.
    • A bunch of kids flash gang signs to a couple of guys in a passing car while riding on a school bus. The guys force the bus to pull over, revealing that they're real gangsters and tell the kids to stay in school and aspire to be something more than gangsters because it's a hard and dangerous life.
  • Fanservice: Many women appear scantily clad during the party sequences. There's one who is even completely naked, and Scenery Censor is completely averted.
  • Fat Bastard: Suge Knight. Though there's a lot of muscle under that fat...
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flipping the Bird: The group gets their entire audience to do this before they sing "Fuck Tha Police" in Detroit.
  • Foreshadowing: Two nasty encounters with the police which nearly result in arrest early on end up inspiring the song "Fuck Tha Police", which becomes one of the group's hit songs, and when they're warned not to play it in Detroit (by the police, no less), they do so anyway, causing a riot and ending up getting arrested.
    • Eazy-E begins coughing heavily by the time he confronts and subsequently fires Jerry Heller for embezzling money from N.W.A. It's a symptom of his HIV/AIDS.
  • Freak Out: Ice Cube's reaction to Priority withholding royalties from AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted is to take a baseball bat to Bryan Turner's office.
  • Gangbangers: Eazy-E and Suge Knight. Aside from being a drug dealer, Eazy had affiliations with with the various Crips gangs in Compton, and Suge was a Blood. This alone made Eazy dismiss Suge's offer of his body guarding services earlier on in the film, But it wouldn't be the last time they crossed paths in the film. In a twist of irony, One of Death Row's most successful artists would also be on Suge's bad side for being a Crip member.
  • Genius Bruiser: Dre is a very creatively gifted and intelligent guy, yet also has no problems handling himself from a physical standpoint. Ice Cube also qualifies for much the same reason as he's depicted as a great deal more on the ball than the other members of the N.W.A.
  • Good-Times Montage: The recording of Straight Outta Compton is presented as one of these until the police arrive.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Not mentioned in the film, but Milt Ahlerich got involved with the group in the first place due to the pressures from Focus On The Family.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Suge Knight has one. Ice Cube is portrayed as having one as well but with less personal violence.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Eazy's response to discovering he tested HIV positive is to affirm that he wasn't gay.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Being produced by Dre and Cube themselves, the film has been accused of glossing over some of the group's negative aspects:
    • The members of NWA are depicted as reconciling with Eazy shortly before his death and planning a reunion of NWA. In real life, this never happened, and DJ Yella was the only member of the group present at E's funeral.
    • The film makes no mention of several high profile cases of Dr. Dre beating women (his beating of Dee Barnes was in the original script, but had to be cut for time).
  • Historical Villain Downgrade: Most individuals involved with Death Row Records attest Suge Knight's Ax-Crazy persona is underplayed in the movie and the writers left many of Suge's more insane real-life antics out. Perhaps because they thought no one would believe them to be real.note 
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Jerry Heller is treated as very likely having ripped the band off of a large amount of money but it's questionable whether he did anything illegal or simply took advantage of the band's business inexperience. Jerry is also portrayed as having a deeply close relationship with Eazy-E which is ultimately fractured irrecoverably by the movie's events.
    • Jerry Heller's biggest objection to the movie wasn't that it portrayed him as cheating the clients (Ice Cube was actually paid the $75,000 check he was offered in the movie), though that was close, but that he and Eazy-E had a falling out. He maintains the two were close up until the day he died.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Eazy-E comes down with one of these about halfway through the film, foreshadowing his contraction of HIV.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Although Ice Cube's "No Vaseline" takes shots at everybody involved with NWA, Jerry is much, much more offended by the two lines that allude to him. This might also be Jewish Complaining.
  • It Will Never Catch On: In the beginning of the film, Dre's uncle repeatedly tells him that his group's "Reality Rap" wouldn't catch on due to it not being radio friendly. We don't see him after the release of "Boyz-N-The-Hood" and the group's subsequent success, but it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say he was eating crow at that point.
  • Jerkass: Most of the police in the film come across as this due to the sheer Police Brutality they enforce in almost every scene they appear in.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The only comeuppance that Suge Knight receives for his actions is Dre leaving Death Row Records. And even then, the label still had big names like 2Pac and Snoop Dogg providing it with success. Of course, if one takes recent real-life events into account...
    • This also applies to Ice Cube, but to a slightly lesser degree than Knight. While we may never know how much his Freak Out inside Bryan Turner's office was dramatized for the movie, he shows up there again a few scenes later with his wife, and is strongly implied to have not gotten any jail time whatsoever for destroying everything inside the office weeks (presumably) earlier. (In actuality, Ice Cube was nearly arrested as soon as he walked out the building, but Priority's CEO intervened, and basically made Bryan give Cube what he promised almost immediately after the incident.)
  • Manly Tears:
    • More than a few are shed by Dre and Eazy when Dre's brother Tyree dies.
    • At the end, Eazy-E is panicking and crying when the doctor tells him that not only is he HIV positive, but he has six months at the most left to live.
    • Additionally, at the end, when Eazy is in the hospital, gradually slipping away everybody except for Ice Cube is seen crying.
  • Mighty Whitey: Jerry Heller and Bryan Turner are rare subversions of this trope. They seem like they want to make N.W.A. a national phenomenon, at first, but when N.W.A. does become one, Heller and Turner's true colors are revealed and they turn out to be exploitative jerks who simply want to profit off the trio. Their behavior ends up being one of the many factors that led to N.W.A.'s downfall.
  • Mood Whiplash: The group decides to play "Fuck Tha Police" despite being told not to under threat of arrest. Cue this trope when a riot breaks out midway through.
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: The members of N.W.A. throws Felicia out of their hotel room in nothing but her orange panties.
  • The Napoleon: Eazy-E is short but dangerous. Also a visionary.
  • Neck Snap: According to Dre, this is how his brother, Tyree, was killed.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Two significant examples:
    • The first throw-down between Ice Cube's Lench Mob, and Ruthless' Above The Law, which was based on a real life incident between the groups.
    • Eazy-E getting beaten within an inch of his life by Suge Knight and his cronies, in an attempt to get Eazy to release Dr. Dre from Ruthless Records.
  • invokedNo Such Thing as Bad Publicity: When the group gets a warning from the FBI to stop celebrating violence against law enforcement, Eazy-E decides to show it to the press, to send the message that even the FBI is afraid of N.W.A, enhancing their gangsta image. Getting arrested by the Detroit Police for performing "Fuck Tha Police," and the riot that results from that only helps boost their cred further. The trope is even all-but-named by him and Cube later in the film.
    Eazy-E: "All publicity is good publicity."
  • Oh, Crap!: Some kids harass some gangbangers from their schoolbus only for the gangbangers to force it off the road and get onboard. Subverted when the gangbangers merely want to Scare 'Em Straight. Given the potential danger the teenagers might be in if they hassle individuals like them, this is probably good advice but a young Ice Cube finds it surreal.
    • The group and their audience in Detroit get this when a riot breaks out midway through their performance of "Fuck Tha Police", after the group was explicitly told not to play that song.
    • Everyone gets one when Eazy-E passes out near the end, after he told them he was all right.
    • Eazy-E gets a big one when he'd told he's HIV positive and has, at most, six months left to live.
  • Only Sane Man: Ice Cube, the group's principal writer, is the very first to notice Jerry Heller's shady dealings with the group, and his focus on Eazy. He confides in Dre about his suspicions, but he tells Cube to not let their momentum stop over royalties. Ice Cube's suspicions are confirmed when Jerry tells him the rest of the group signs the contracts without getting a lawyer looking over the fine print. Ice Cube immediately jumps ship, knowing Heller would screw him further if he signed. It took the release of "No Vaseline" for Dre to look into his own funds and leave, and Eazy wouldn't realize Jerry was playing him until it was almost too late.
  • Paparazzi: Ice Cube gets interviewed by a Straw Hypocrite who just wants to generate some controversy by making him look like an Anti-Semite. Cube clarifies he's not against Jews, just Jerry Heller and ends the interview.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite his flaws, Jerry Heller does come to the defense of NWA on at least two occasions and he wisely advises Eazy not to kill Suge Knight, because it won't solve anything and he'll just end up dead, in prison, or both.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: The lifestyle of N.W.A members is shown as generally being a nonstop steady stream of these. Truth in Television and one source of the band's later financial difficulties.
  • Pet the Dog: Jerry Heller is one of the antagonists but his outrage over the NWA's treatment by the police is sincere. It's also clear he has genuine fatherly feelings toward Eazy-E. It just may not be enough to keep him from ripping him off.
  • Poisonous Friend: Jerry to Eazy E. Which resulted in the group's fallout.
  • Police Brutality: The sheer amount of police overreach and brutality that young black men experience in the inner city of Los Angeles is put front and center. This was what inspired the writing of "Fuck Tha Police" in real life and in the movie.
  • The Prima Donna: Under Jerry's influence, Eazy begins to slowly evolve into one.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Ice Cube and Eazy toward Jerry Heller and Dre toward Suge Knight.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After breaking ties with NWA, Bryan Turner tells Ice Cube he would not receive royalties for AmeriKKa's Most Wanted if he chose to go solo, but would be paid an advance for his second album if the first was successful. Come AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted outselling Straight Outta Compton, Turner goes back on his word, despite Cube protesting that he needed the cash, having brought a house and his girlfriend being pregnant with his son (Who ironically portrays his dad in the movie). Fed up with getting played by shady executives a second time, Cube brings the Lench Mob to Turner's office and proceeds to wreck it with a baseball bat.
  • Rags to Riches: The story of the boys, though there's also a Riches to Rags ending for Eazy-E.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic:
    • Jerry Heller maintained the scene where Eazy-E was beaten up by Suge Knight's goons was inaccurate... mostly because they didn't beat him up since they would have killed him if he didn't sign over Dre's contract.
      Jerry Heller: First of all, Eazy would have never gone to that studio if Suge had called. He would never go there at 3:30 in the morning if Suge woulda called him. There is only one guy that could have gotten him over to that studio and we all know who that is. That was ridiculous. They never touched him. There were four guys there dressed in black with lead pipes. He called me the next morning. He was embarrassed because he had let that happen to put himself in that position. He believed that he was going there to see somebody else. He called me and told me and we dealt with it.
    • The concert arrest happened entirely as was depicted.
    • So did the parking lot scene with Suge Knight.
    • Also the scene at the Death Row offices where Suge and several of his friends bully a man by stripping him down to his underwear, threatening to sic a pit bull on him, and randomly firing and waving guns in the air.
    • Ice Cube's rampage in Bryan Turner's office wasn't dramatized. According to Cube himself, the only two things in that scene that weren't accurate was Turner being in the office when he arrived (he was in the bathroom), and Cube not getting in trouble (The police did arrive, and nearly arrested him, but one of Turner's superiors intervened).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Actually a "The Reason You Suck Song" with "No Vaseline" being used to rebuttal the N.W.A's own lyrical attacks on Ice Cube. Ice Cube's ability with rhymes and writing turns their feud to be a Curb-Stomp Battle in terms of diss-rap—something the surviving members all agree on.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Subverted. After getting beaten within an inch of his life by Suge Knight and his men, in an effort to get Dre released from Ruthless, Eazy tells Jerry that he plans on killing Suge. Jerry reminds Eazy that it will not only get him killed or in prison, but may also shut down Ruthless permanently, which causes Eazy to (reluctantly) back off of Suge. After the movie came out, Jerry himself confirmed that scene actually happened, and regretted that he didn't let Eazy go through with it.
  • Same Language Dub: Tupac's actor Marcc Rose had his lines overdubbed by Pac sound-alike Darris Love.
  • Satanic Archetype: Suge near continuously is shown in darkly lit or red carpeted rooms, smoking cigars and always depicted with red or black clothes. Not to mention that his company is Death Row Records, which he has Dre and Eazy sign a deal to associate themselves with them.
  • Scary Black Man: Suge Knight. Ice Cube also qualifies to a lesser extent, especially when he destroys Bryan Turner's office with a baseball bat for not getting paid.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: A pair of gangbangers gets on a school bus to tell everyone not to get involved with the lifestyle after being harassed by the kids from the bus' window. If Ice Cube is any indication, it didn't work as he refers to it as an 'after school special.'
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Bryan Turner lets out some really high-pitched screams when Ice Cube smashes up his office.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Dre's attitude to Suge Knight after witnessing too much violence and intimidation from his partner.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The band's fame doesn't protect them from police harassment at the beginning of their career until the authorities realize this just increases their popularity and influence.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Eazy-E in his introductory scene when a tank shows up at the house.
    • Ice Cube does this to N.W.A when he grows suspicious of Jerry after Jerry tells them the rest of the group signed their contracts without a lawyer looking over them, because he (Ice Cube) knows he would merely be screwed over more if he signed like the others.
    • The group does this in Detroit when a riot breaks out midway through "Fuck Tha Police", which they were told not to play.
    • Dre does this to Suge Knight at the end when he sees how ruthless and brutal Suge is.
  • Self-Serving Memory: MC Ren has stated the movie is Broad Strokes accurate but notes that it paints a far more flattering picture of Ice Cube and Dre (the movie's creators) than was true in reality as well as increases their role to the extent of drowning out other real-life members. Obviously, Dre and Ice Cube would disagree with this interpretation. Heller, likewise, has stated his portrayal in the movie is more due to their prejudices against him than reality. Whatever the truth is depends greatly on who is being asked what and when.
  • Shame If Something Happened: Suge Knight employs this technique to both Eazy-E and Jerry Heller with it implied to Dre. Truth in Television.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During a brief scene where Ice Cube is seen writing the script for Friday, he quotes one of the movie's most memorable lines:
      Ice Cube: You got knocked the fuck out!
    • There's another Friday Shout-Out even before that. When Cube unceremoniously kicks a groupie named Felicia out of their hotel room, he happens to drop another memetic line from the film.
      Ice Cube: Bye Felicia.
    • At one of the hotel parties, the group is seen playing dominoes.
    • When Jerry calls for a late-night meeting with Ice Cube, the latter accuses him of "Godfather shit". Later in the movie, Suge Knight pulls the Luca Brasi / Johnny Fontaine move for real.
    • During Ice Cube's interview with the reporter, there were members of the Nation of Islam present that Ice Cube described as his "brothers" despite their history as a Corrupt Church. In the mid-1990s, Ice Cube converted to Islam, and was associated at that time with the Nation of Islam, although he denies ever being formally a part of it.
  • So Proud of You: Dre's mother, Verna, tells him this after his brother, Tyree, is murdered. This is especially poignant because earlier in the film, she yelled at him about his lack of direction in life.
  • The Stoic: MC Ren.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Meta example, O'Shea Jackson Jr. is almost a dead ringer for his father, Ice Cube, whom he plays in the movie.
  • The Svengali: Suge Knight is an especially scary example of this trope.
  • Tempting Fate: In Detroit, the group is explicitly told not to perform "Fuck Tha Police" under threat of arrest. Guess what happens when they decide to play it anyway.
  • There Are No Good Executives: Ruthless Records, Priority Records and Death Row Records are all guilty of this. This trope is also the reason Dre finally starts Aftermath Records.
    • Jimmy Iovine note on the other hand...
  • Title Drop: Excluding the album and track the movie takes it's name from, archival footage of several artists during the credits namedrop Straight Outta Compton.
  • Trauma Conga Line: While Ice Cube and Dr. Dre find much success after the NWA break-up, things get worse for Eazy E as the film progresses. From financial problems to eventually dying of AIDS, things are not so "easy" for Eazy E.
  • True Companions: N.W.A begins as this and their breakup is shown as very tragic.
  • Truth in Television: N.W.A recorded the album Straight Outta Compton at Audio Achievements, a studio located on Cabrillo Avenue within the historical Old Town district of Torrance, California. The surviving founding members have stated that the treatment the group received by the Torrance Police Department did in fact partially contribute to the group's inspiration for Fuck Tha Police.
    • The Torrance Police Department has a reputation of being extremely strict and often writing serious tickets for extremely small infractions, as well as for singling out people unfamiliar with the town, to the point to where the entire South Bay/Beach City area has given them an infamous reputation of being assholes. Many young residents born after N.W.A's fame were completely unaware of the role that officers of the Torrance Police Department played in the creation of the track, and for a few months after the film's release it was not entirely uncommon to find young individuals taking photos outside the old studio or blaring Fuck Tha Police while driving.
    • It's worth noting that Torrance, California is a relatively affluent middle-class community, though during the late 1980s and early to mid 1990s, Old Torrance was a pretty unsafe area to be in past sundown due to it bordering areas such as Lomita, Harbor Gateway, and Gardena, all of which were notoriously gang infested at that time.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: The black Dirty Cop who harasses them makes nasty remarks like "You heard what your master said,...boy" when Jerry sends them inside the studio.
  • Undisclosed Funds: Contract disputes are major part of the plot, but it is never made explicit how much money anybody is being cheated out of. The fact the boys are shown as wild spenders makes it an Ambiguous Situation.
  • Verbal Tic: Being rappers it makes sense that the characters can easily speak in a rhythmic style but in some Fridge Brilliance it bleeds over into a few of their regular spoken lines.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jerry Heller, after finally being confronted and fired by Eazy over Heller's corrupt handling of NWA's and Ruthless' money, begs him to change his mind, and is all but in tears when Eazy storms out of his house.
    • This—along with not paying Ice Cube (and eating a lobster brunch)—is notably what Jerry Heller claims the movie completely made up.
  • Warts and All: Part of the point of the movie; while the impact that NWA made on music and society is important, the film reminds us that they were still human and were far from perfect. Examples include Eazy's promiscuity, and even referring to (if not showing) Dr. Dre's assault of Dee Barnes.
    • That said, the film has been criticized for omitting certain negative aspects of the group and its members, particularly their sometimes poor treatment of women; see Historical Hero Upgrade on this page for the full details.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Two hours into the movie after splits and feuds and insults and physical violence, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, and MC Ren reconcile and plan to work together again. A happy ending seems assured, but then Eazy collapses and he's told that he is HIV+ and has only months to live.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: At the end, Eazy-E is told he has months to live after contracting HIV.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: