Watchlist Wednesdays: NWA and Eazy E: The Kings Of Compton
By Anton Constantino
Watchlist Wednesdays is all about those forthcoming tracks, albums, and movies that keep the spirit of hip hop alive.
This week sees the UK release of a new gangsta rap documentary, NWA & Eazy E: The Kings Of Compton. As a follow on summer box office chart topper, Straight Outta Compton, it offers a stark, no frills look at the life and times of one of hip hop’s most controversial frontmen, Eric Wright; better known to his fans as the late Eazy-E.
Where SOC has proved too narrow in its focus; too hung up on the merits of Dre and Cube, this offering from directors Mike Cobera and Andre Relis pulls back the curtain on the real puppet-master of the group, N.W.A. Eazy, as we learn, was a renaissance man: a producer, a rapper, a philanthropist, an entrepreneur. In his journey to becoming a larger than life figure in the mid 80’s and early 90’s , he sparked revolution and opened doors in the music industry which nobody dreamed possible. Like most young stars he was also a big hedonist; a lover of women, fancy cars, guns and raucous partying.
Kings of Compton gives us both sides of the picture, combining never-before-seen candid interviews, personal photos and archive footage for an all together human story of N.W.A from the inside out. What’s most refreshing is the straight forward linear approach it takes. Rather than jolting us backwards and forward as SOC does, it instead navigates us through from start to finish with speed and precision. Chapters move ‘Life In Compton’, ‘Music in the 80’s’ , ‘NWA begins’, to Eazy the family man and finally his death.
Many have noted that SOC glosses over crucial facts about Eazy’s life: his children, his charity work and his influence on suburban America. Not this documentary. In one scene, an interview subject recalls a touching moment Eric shared with his daughter. In an another, Eazy’s described as “ well liked” and “well respected”, with a good nature and kind heart. Reverend Oswald Terry – a featured interviewee – hits the nail on head when he says, “It’s the things you don’t hear about [Eazy] which are meaningful”. And that’s basically the crux of the documentary, “a personal story of Eric Wright”
NWA & Eazy-E: The Kings Of Compton is worth a watch if anything as cross comparison to SOC. Order your copy now on Amazon.
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