Dee Barnes Says the ‘Truth’ Was Left Out of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ Film
The N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton has been getting its fair share of critical praise but one person is questioning “the reality” of the film. Music journalist Dee Barnes penned a stinging commentary about the biopic, revealing that the beatings she and other women allegedly suffered at the hands of Dr. Dre were missing from the story.
In the riveting Gawker piece, the former Pump It Up! host vividly describes what led to Dr. Dre's violent attack on her in 1991. Apparently, Dre was angry with Barnes over her interview with Ice Cube, who already left N.W.A., because he was clowning the group during the interview. When Dre confronted Barnes at a club, he allegedly threw her down a flight of stairs and viciously beat her in the women’s bathroom. Dre pleaded no contest to the assault and it was eventually settled out of court.
Barnes goes on to write that the film should have also shown Dre’s domestic abuse with two other women: his then-girlfriend Michel'le and artist Tairrie B, whom he allegedly punched twice at a Grammy Awards party in 1990.
"He should have owned up to the black eyes and scars he gave to his collaborator Michel’le," she writes. "And he should have owned up to what he did to me. That’s reality. That’s reality rap."
Barnes accuses the film’s director, F. Gary Gray, of revising history because the “truth is too ugly for the general audience.” She also revealed that Gray was behind the camera during the Ice Cube segment that apparently led to Dre attacking her.
In Gray's defense, the director told audiences at a New York film panel that he couldn't fit every side story in the movie. "We had to make sure we serve the narrative and the narrative was about N.W.A," he said. "We had to focus on the story that pertinent to the main characters. You could've made five different N.W.A movies. We made the one we wanted to make."
In the end Barnes writes:
"Straight Outta Compton transforms N.W.A. from the world’s most dangerous rap group to the world’s most diluted rap group. In rap, authenticity matters, and gangsta rap has always pushed boundaries beyond what’s comfortable with hardcore rhymes that are supposed to present accounts of the street’s harsh realities (though N.W.A. shared plenty of fantasies, as well). The biggest problem with Straight Outta Compton is that it ignores several of N.W.A.’s own harsh realities. That’s not gangsta, it’s not personal, it’s just business."
What do you think of Dee Barnes' thoughts on 'Straight Outta Compton'? Tell us in the comments below.