Dr. Dre & Ice Cube Address Allegations Of Assault & Misogyny in NWA's Lyrics
As cinema accolades for Straight Outta Compton and musical praise for its official soundtrack continue to stream in, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre recently commented on some of the darker and more damning moments in their collective past. Speaking with Rolling Stone in a new cover story interview, the pair addressed multiple allegations of physical abuse made by women, along with the misogyny that dominates some of their most (in)famous verses. The results were...interesting, to say the least, with Dre presenting himself as a changed man; if not enlightened, at least self-aware. Cube, however, seems to be stuck in a male-centric mindset.
Directly referring to his 1991 assault against TV host Dee Barnes, along newer allegations of abuse made by his musical protegé and ex-girlfriend Michel'le, Dre admitted "I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life." He continued: ""I was young, fucking stupid. I would say all the allegations aren't true – some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there's no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again."
By contrast, Cube--who since his rap career peaked, we've gotten to know as an actor, a husband and father to a 20-year old daughter---seemed to feel it was better to double down in defense of N.W.A.'s depiction of women, lyrically speaking:
"If you're a bitch, you're probably not going to like us," he says. "If you're a ho, you probably don't like us. If you're not a ho or a bitch, don't be jumping to the defense of these despicable females. Just like I shouldn't be jumping to the defense of no punks or no cowards or no slimy son of a bitches that's men. I never understood why an upstanding lady would even think we're talking about her."
There are certainly voices out here better equipped to unpack exactly what and how much is wrong with that answer but all we can really say for the moment is...wow. Just wow. If Cube thought that N.W.A. fans were either titillated by or at least comfortable with violence against women, real or symbolic, and the move was to give them more of what they came for...then let us just say, as fans of the music and the movie: that was not what we were here for.