Analysis Of Menace II Society And Straight Outta Compton

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Violence peppers the history of Black Los Angeles, a pervasive force of destruction found both within the community and between the black community and the Los Angeles Police Department. Menace II Society and Straight Outta Compton approach similar situations of conflict within South Central Los Angeles, examining the relationship between discrimination and violence. Directed by the Hughes Brothers and released in 1993, Menace II Society chronicles the life of fictional Caine Lawson, a son of drug dealers trying to escape the dangers of a Watts project neighborhood. F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton, released in 2015, follows the formation of N.W.A. and the biographies of Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre. Although both directors employ vernacular …show more content…
The film highlights Eazy-E’s beginning as a drug dealer and his shift to music as a means of financial gain. Like Caine in Menace II Society, Eazy-E suffers an untimely death; just as he plans an N.W.A. reunion, he succumbs to HIV/AIDS. After he passes, a letter he writes states, “I would like to turn my own problem into something good that will reach out to all my homeboys and their kin”, instilling a sense of hope for the future even in the face of death (“Quotes from Straight Outta Compton”). The injustice lies within his unfulfilled dreams; instead of violence, an unexpected disease prohibits Eazy-E’s ambitions. Mourning the loss of the character, the film turns to show the successes of the others, leading to optimism rather than despair. Originally an aspiring DJ, Dr. Dre profits from N.W.A. and the creation of his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. He later becomes a producer and music entrepreneur, setting fire to a new generation of rappers by offering them the support N.W.A. struggled to obtain. Similarly, Ice Cube, portrayed as a struggling young rapper in the beginning of the film, gains success as a film actor. During a conversation over their struggles and successes, Dr. Dre remarks, “Cube, we ruthless,” to which Ice Cube responds, “We N.W.A.”, a sign of their perseverance in the face of adversity and their confidence in the future ("Quotes from Straight Outta Compton”). This short exchange indicates the tenacity with which Dr. Dre and Ice Cube approached their music and their futures. Even though their paths to success encountered discrimination and failures, the characters rise out of the violence in Compton, achieving the escape Caine failed to

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