Although our analysis was admittedly idealistic, the basis of our thinking was correct. The record industry understood properly that the gangsta rap model was a much more sustainable economic model than the political rap model. Consequently, the industry clearly made a choice to push hip/hop in the gangsta lyric direction. As a result, by the mid nineties, conscious rap was pretty much a thing of the past (with the exception of a few harder core artists/activists). Its important to understand the capitalist aspects of this. This so-called gangsta rap genre was trumpeted by the largest entertainment entities in the world. In fact, Time Warner housed Interscope Records which distributed for Death Row and the illegalities of these relationships have been exposed in several legal proceedings involving the actions of Death Row Records Executive and attorney David Brenner. So, if you really want to understand where NWA and the like came from, just follow the money.
But, getting back specifically to this movie, I never listened to NWA or bought their music. Despite the fact my life was already firmly dedicated to fighting for African liberation and I had long before abandoned the glorification of "the hood" I still to this day have maintained an appreciation for quality lyrical capabilities. Even if what is being articulated wasn't to my liking. Although I refused to buy it myself, in clubs, I would listen to and acknowledge the lyrical skill of people like Biggie, the not so progressive Tupac, E-40, etc., because those cats could rap, even when they were speaking a bunch of non-sense. With NWA, I never felt even that much respect. Eazy-E and Dr. Dre always sounded terrible and compounded with the self hatred and misogyny in their lyrics, I declined the first time I heard it. Then, once I learned that Dre had a penchant for beating women e.g. Miche'Le and Dee Barnes, I've made a point not to support anything he was doing. And Ice Cube? Well, I'll just leave it at what the late Khallid Abdul Muhammad, who Ice Cube used on his albums when he first left NWA (and was acting like he was a soldier in the Nation of Islam) said; Ice Cube "had melted on me." Just another capitalist business person who sees our people as a means to an end from which to exploit.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a revolutionary which means I have to be a dialectical materialist. That means I understand that everything has positives and negatives and the question is which will dominate. I realize fully that NWA's "F-the Police" was a hip/hop classic that made a contribution to the community over police consciousness that we are still working to build today, but overall, much of their legacy is sadly reactionary and against the interests of our people.
So, the movie may attract millions, but my few dollars won't be among them. NWA isn't the type of culture I'm interested in. Anyone can pimp a downtrodden people and make money off of it. I'd rather focus on building up our culture of resistance, getting back to Sekou Ture's analysis. Understanding that the best culture isn't what the capitalist system puts out and promotes. And the best artists aren't the ones who aspire to reach the dimensions of our oppressors, even if they battle our oppressors on some levels along the way. The best culture is that which presents our people with solutions to our problems and hope for the future. And, the best artists are those who promote inspirational art, whether they catch heat for it and whether it sells or not. NWA may mean lots of money for Dre, Cube, and some of the others, but I prefer to talk about art that maintains integrity and courage, not every so often or some of the time, but in everything that it does and all that it is. One day we will hopefully come to grasp Ture's analysis of this question. And, when that day comes, we will claim our power and people like Dre and Cube will be left with nothing except an overflowing inventory of the garbage they've produced.