In the mid 1980’s crack turned LA into a dangerous place. That happens when you have gangs and crackheads running the show. The cops were not much better, and NWA saw themselves as reporters on the street. This rockumentary (really a rapumentary) tells the story of their rise to fame.
I’m a documentary junkie, so I enjoyed the fact that this was a thorough history of how West Coast rap came to be. It has interesting stories along the way that keep it entertaining. Like how in the 80’s Nancy Regan went to the Ghetto to kick it with Daryl Gates while cops in a police tank knocked down crack houses. Or how when Dr. Dre. started out, he would actually dress as a doctor and dance around. Or how Suge Knight would make people sign important documents at lead-pipe-point.
The History of NWA is also the history of rap music pissing off conservative white America. Record companies initially said NWA’s raps would never sell. MTV would not play the first music video they shot due to ‘excessive gang violence.’ At one point, the FBI sent them a letter blaming them for violence against law enforcement. Of course, all of this started to get them press so the game became figuring ways to piss people off. This was also the birth of white suburban kids buying rap, fascinated by the dangerous lifestyle that was being sold. I say see it. Airs tonight at 11pm on VH1.