If you’re a rap fan or a movie buff you’ve probably seen Straight Outta Compton by now–but you haven’t really watched the NWA biopic until you’ve watched it with DJ Yella. Ever-diligent OKP contributor Sama’an Ashrawi got to just that when he caught up with Yella on the red carpet at the film’s premiere last week.
If nothing else, only one character should come to mind when citing SOC‘s comedic relief. That character would be the dime-chasing and, frankly, hilarious Yella AKA Antoine Carraby. But with all of the lighthearted jesting dished out by Yella’s character in the film (portrayed by actor Neil Brown Jr.) we’ve yet to hear the man’s take on the film and how he views its successes, or failures for that matter. In this installment of OKP TV, Sama’an gets the G-Funk vet’s insight on what it all means–and what it’s like to see a young Yella on the big screen. He speaks with poise and fond reflection and all in all, Yella seams pleased and more than excited that one of hip-hop greatest narratives–a narrative he plays a crucial role in–is being embraced the way it is. He also feels weighs in on the burden of representation and sticks by the version of events presented by F. Gary Gray and his assembled cast (though we now know precisely what and how much was excluded). As Gray said at a recent screening of the film: “You could make five different N.W.A movies. We made the one we wanted to make.”–and now we know which NWA story DJ Yella wanted to tell
Watch our exclusive interview of DJ Yella below for one key perspective on the film that’s become a national conversation about censorship, race, gender, police brutality–and a whole lot more:
Editor: Eddie Grams