Arrested Development’s Lead Singer Speech Thomas Shares Thoughts On “Straight Outta Compton”

Commentary, Entertainment, News 390 91695
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“I applaud Ice Cube, Gary F Gray & Dr. Dre because they know how to tell a great story! The accurate portrayal of a Hip Hop producer’s heart…. wanting to make something special…well done. The vicious sharks that swim in music industry waters…greatly exposed. The acting, promotion and soundtrack… superb! In a country where excellence in black film on the big screen isn’t seen enough, it’s proudly exhibited here.

But from the perspective of the ancestors, they got some explaining to do. Centuries of struggle by our men, women and children who were thoroughly desolate with only one hope. The hope that through their perseverance, future generations would have it better than they did. Many died for that very reason.
That’s the African-American legacy.

It was just two weeks ago, we all were discussing how soiled America still is from the horrors of slavery and the following systematic racism.

Blacks for hundreds of years purposely portrayed in every advertisement, news article, play, TV show and movie as dangerous, vile, uncaring, simple, roguish brutes, with intelligence a tad higher than a monkey. Year after year, decade after decade, century after century… And here we are today – as white trigger happy cops shoot blacks. It doesn’t matter if they’re unarmed, cuz in the minds of so many, blacks are always armed with centuries of dangerous propaganda. And a lie can run around the world twice before truth can get her shoes on!

And in comes Hollywood pushing yet ANOTHER movie with that same ole narrative… “Straight Outta Compton!” With the convenient subtitle – “The worlds most dangerous group.”

Is that literal or it’s figurative? None of them came from the most dangerous of street life but Easy E. right? I often hear that they’re dangerous because of Cube’s defiant lyrics & fierce determination to speak “truth” to power. Ummm, that sounds honorable.

But I’m sure I can come up with a few more suggestions more appropriate than NWA. The Black Panthers for instance might be better suited for such an honor. With fierce determination they defied an entire system at risk of their very lives! They REALLY fought for justice and most paid the ultimate price. An epic bio pic that shows how these brave young men and women organized change for all races and genders, showing true devotion mixed with legal prowess… that’s a film suggestion! And can I get a witness that NWA’s “F** the Police” is only the prevailing anti-police brutality anthem BECAUSE the music industry championed it. It didn’t take the FBI long at all to see that NWA was ultimately a harmless group because their other songs & political savvy was thoroughly misguided and non-directional. As opposed to the earlier & less popular “F** the Pigs” that the Black Panthers often shouted as they persevered through police harassment as actual freedom fighters, not as drug dealers and pretend thugs. Historically there were activists that started as thugs but TRANSFORMED into purposeful revolutionaries.

I’ve heard some say, the title “most dangerous” is as far as MUSICAL groups are concerned…. Ummm wouldn’t PUBLIC ENEMY better fit that definition? But see a movie like that would simply be too dangerous, it might cause people to do more than ooo and aaah over the financial success of a music producer & rapper who made nice movies and headphones. It might cause REAL change.

Gilliard & Sons

NWA may be the most dangerous, but not because they fought against a racist and oppressive system… but because they were effective ambassadors of that very system! I like to call it white supremacy on wax! Who else could have done such a great job at spreading the age old message that blacks are morally sub-human? Many things white supremacists say about blacks is what NWA confirms in their most popular songs. And yes, in 2015 Twitter is going nuts praising the film and much of the hiphop world is bowing down to NWA as heroes in the genre. But I applaud a good number of blacks that “don’t believe the hype”!

Bio pics about rap artists are few and far between, but take notice to WHICH rap movies Hollywood green lights for major motion picture release? And have you ever thought about WHY these particular movies?

Biggie’s Notorious, Eminem’s 8 Mile, 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying and NWA’s Straight Outta Compton! Most of which come straight outta Jimmy Iovine’s & Dre’s storehouse of thuggery, and celebrate the “American Dream” thru gritty accounts of drug deals, crack addicted communities, strip clubs, friends that deceive each other and gun battles gone wrong. And then the inevitable transformation from rags to riches. As they live happily ever after (in their death though). Oh yeah, Biggie was about right, that if you’re black…you’re nobody til somebody kills you!

To quote Public Enemy… “Burn Hollywood Burn!” They’re pretty much about money and judging by this past weekends ticket sales… THEY’RE WINNING! Stay tuned for a Tupac, Ice T and whomever else da cap fits bio pic for us all to swoon over!

Feed us our illusions, Hollywood has no skin in the game, it’s just money to them. But don’t we as blacks literally have skin in the game?

It’s our SKIN that signals brainwashed cops to pull us over just because we didn’t use a turn signal. Or blow our brains out for trying to start our car while being questioned. Or get choked to death, spines snapped, or just walking home wearing a hoodie.

BUT SOMEBODY BLACK KEEPS PROUDLY DELIVERING THESE MOVIES TO HOLLYWOOD.

There’s gotta be a point where we WEIGH the pains we feel from years of being mis-represented against the joy we feel seeing another black thug soliloquy on the big screen! The pain lasts for years, the joy last 2 and a half hours. You do the math.

There’s gotta be a breaking point when we make a critical decision. Directionless expression or real freedom? I know, I know… no one screams when Scorsese does a gangster film, why pick on rappers? Because Jewish people aren’t making these movies WHILE simultaneously getting shot down in the streets by their own kind, arrested in astronomical rates and their rappers literally getting assassinated like they were in a Middle East war zone!

When is enough… ENOUGH!?

Consciousness didn’t start with NWA, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly”, nor ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬.

It’s been in full effect since slavery and we must keep our eyes on the prize to reach the finish line!
On the big screen, these rappers are portrayed as bigger than life heroes and even somehow “freedom fighters”! But TRUE heroes like Julian Bond, Garvey, Harriet & Parks deserve a bio pic, because they served US all! But would we support it?

It NEVER was enough to have a conscious song or two on an otherwise “white supremacist” gangsta record. It’s not enough to have things “go in cycles”… (people say that to me all the time about music)
It’s about standing on the shoulders of those that stood before us until we get out from the ditch that hides our humanity!

Our values are so backwards that fathers, mothers, educators, intellectuals & activists don’t fill today’s memes and murals. Instead it’s Tupac, Biggie, NWA and maybe a Jay-Z. The murals you see painted in the ghettos, (I’ve even seen em in the outskirts of Africa!) Memes of these rappers floating around on the Internet and interviews at the end of albums with their “prophetic” words. 3D holograms of them in front of wooing crowds. Supposed martyrs packaged and shrink wrapped in a CD. “Heroes” of the people – celebrated, applauded, jailed and assassinated, with a level of admiration that you’d think they died because of political resistance or activism, but no. It’s simply a petty beef or a record executive hungry for more money.

We have so lost our way, that we celebrate their temporary success – in lieu of our own lasting success.

Behind the riches of every Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy E. or Suge Knight are quiet little Jewish & White guys in polo shirts that are even richer than them.

They play golf and listen to Bach while they count their money. Meanwhile we wallow in these decadent, century old stereotypical, blaxploitation flicks and albums, their kids fly in private jets and vacation in Belize. Our kids suffer just walking to school.

Yes, Straight Outta Compton is very good and yes, these men have immense talent, but Italian mafioso refused to sell crack to their own communities. They insisted on separating their families from their illegal business.

We sell this “crack music” to our little kids and we infest the whole world with it!
It is NOT just entertainment. We are getting killed in real life. We influence Africa, South America and everywhere there’s poor people that need inspiration. It has never been simple entertainment and it has far out reached the block…. it’s racist propaganda. And it hurts the soul of humanity!

And by the way ITS NOT HONEST, it’s not what we see in the hood. It’s an embellishment of it, it’s “reality” on steroids, it’s someones story on performance enhancers! And the things that destroy these communities has become a Satanic virus, packaged and shipped out to every other community to infect those that were previously healthy.

That’s my problem with NWA – not the music (it’s brilliant) NWA endorsed the worse traits of the hood, promoted these traits and to justify their lust for fame they revised their purpose claiming it’s a noble freedom of speech movement.

And many have bought that revisionist history, poured it in our glasses & ummm that kool aid taste sweet! White supremacy is happy, blacks got our thug heroes and the world keeps on turning.
So, sit and eat your popcorn, sip a Coke, enjoy a well-deserved break from lifes stress.
I know I did. I also know I made Ice Cube, Dr. Dre Gary Gray and a host of white dudes a bit richer! I’m alright with that. May God bless em.

But even as I’m entertained by the film, I know that unless we change our dynamics and moral infrastructure as black people, WE really are the entertainment. The silly blacks that can’t realize the difference between an Arnold Schwarzenegger fiction and a propaganda missile aimed at the very demise of our freedom, dignity and culture.

GIL scott was right….The revolution will not be televised it will be screened in a theater near you.
Two thumbs up.”

-Speech Thomas

About the author / 

Toure Muhammad

Author Toure Muhammad is the head bean, publisher and chief strategist of Bean Soup Times. The Morehouse graduate has written front page cover stories for The Final Call and N’digo. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, Upscale magazine, rolling out newspaper, and N’Digo magapaper. He’s been featured on Tavis Smiley’s radio show on NPR, on Chicago’s WBEZ (Chicago public radio), and many other radio shows.

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390 Comments

  1. YogiFish August 21, 2015 at 12:18 am - 

    Perfectly stated without insulting the artist, but wanting more value from their art.

  2. ArtofAnAngel August 21, 2015 at 7:28 am - 

    Choosing not to be a part of the hype & spend $ to view this film for so many of the constructive criticism placed throughout this article. Really appreciate the view points presented here ~thank you.

  3. Michael Soaries August 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm - 

    ugh. This writing reminds me of when my father caught me smoking cigarettes. I got a lecture that lasted freaking hours and took me from smoking, to my health, to school and classmates, to white people and racism, all the way back to the kings and queens of Africa. It’s tooooooo loooooong. Passive-aggressive to me.

    You would better serve the cause and community you say they dis-serve by talking about what you are doing and what others can do, together, to make the difference you are blaming them for not making. And demonstrating how we can come from different backgrounds, different places in our lives and still make a contribution to society.

    Because the truth is we are no different in terms of the make up of our community than any other – by that I mean we have artists, smart people, medical people, construction people, law people, political people, honest people, lying people, mob types (we call them thugs), etc. So whatever we do where ever we are is not going to happen in a homogenius way and if you look at the historical trajectory of this country not every piece of good came from clean hands.

    And last – it the support wasn’t there the music would fizzle and fade. They got support and made something – not what I agree with or the message I support I didn’t like the message of Goodfellas but I loved the movie…

  4. Creation Stepper August 21, 2015 at 5:18 pm - 

    sad to hear your immature response.

  5. R. Walker August 21, 2015 at 8:56 pm - 

    How great that someone from that realm is speaking out and clarifying just how detrimental this entire attempt at revisionist history is. How unfortunate that once again the issue of misogyny is not mentioned and neither is the fact that this sanitized version of their story was mainly sanitized for that very reason. To cover up the rampant misogyny that they perpetuated in their lyrics and in their personal lives. I don’t agree that they should be applauded in any way for distorting history, covering up their crimes against black women and pushing a Hollywood agenda. There is no reason why anyone should nor should they support them with their dollars to do so. Despite the box office receipts, there are plenty of us who didn’t and won’t no matter how well the film is made. The Panther Party was no prize either when it came to the rampant misogyny that went on there so lets not try to replace one attempt at revisionist history with another.

  6. Run Coltrane August 21, 2015 at 9:10 pm - 

    the music DID fizzle and fade. But the industry keeps reviving it. Especially when the pendulum starts to swing back toward the consciousness realm

  7. mscisluv August 21, 2015 at 10:21 pm - 

    Damn, why’d you have to bring the Jews into this? This Jew is a big fan and disappointed at the portrayal of the Jews once again being stereotypically portrayed as money-grubbing puppet masters. No need to step on another minority to prove your point.

  8. sffoghorn August 21, 2015 at 10:40 pm - 

    “quiet little Jewish & White guys”

    Does this mean that Jews are not white?

    Are Jews worse than whites on the intersectional hierarchy of oppression?

    Are little Jews even worse?

    When I first heard NWA in 1988, I thought that it was the black version of anarchist punk rock, not because it celebrated gangsta violence, but because it celebrated defiance against racist authoritarianism, making the best of shitty circumstances.

  9. John Wesley Payne August 22, 2015 at 12:12 am - 

    ….Well spoken SPEECH, but may I ask you, What “JEWISH&WHITE” guys signed YOU and YOUR now defunct group ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT when you were out ????….You want to talk embarrassment??? First embrace blackness VERY much, but It was SAD and embarrassing to see your group when you came out in the nineties, talking about stereotypes and setting “us” back ?? We struggled so long to become eloquent and elegant, putting the stereotypes of jiggabo and poverty behind, then here comes YOU guys, a group ; as my mom said; “looked liked before coming on stage they JUST FINISHED PICKING COTTON off MASSA’S plantation”…not to.mention the ARROGANT attitudes YOU and your group had during.the.time I did a show with you and singer Dee Harvey (R.I.P.) in Kansas City, especially the heavy set loud mouth girl in your group along with Dionne Farris, VanHunt..etc,..you guys were VERY arrogant and aloof showing NO LOVE maybe it was cause you had a hit record ?..but where was your unity towards you fellow Blackman then ? AT LEAST DRE had the HEART to reach back and get Snoop and others from the hood to form an alliance that had remnants in place til this day, while you were on “TOP” did you ? Sorry but Im not buying into the “hype” of the passive aggresive grudging admiration you display in this article, sounds like someone might be slightly bitter…I HATE when people try to both praise yet belittle at the same time, would you have wrote this if your group.was.still relevant and still in the “system” on the charts with saturated airplay, I DOUBT it VERY seriously !!!

  10. Raymond Wadsdworth August 22, 2015 at 12:26 am - 

    The article, like your career, is in the toilet. The Panthers had a movie. So has MLK, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, and many others. The executive producers, the director, and the actors were black and yet you still complain. And you’re still concerned with how people view us? Most of those revolutionaries you speak on? They’re college professors now at public universities. Getting paid by the very government they supposedly hated. Maybe they should make a movie about your group. Why don’t you put together the money and put it out? Or why don’t you put together the financing and do PE movie? Don’t talk about it, be about it. PE had Chuck D. But don’t forget who else the had in the group. (Flavor of love.)

  11. John Wesley Payne August 22, 2015 at 2:38 am - 

    …that’s telling it man…Speech wouldnt be saying nothing if him and his pitiful cotton picking group were still in the game .

  12. Mike Scorsese August 22, 2015 at 6:59 am - 

    I agree, but unfortunately Jerry Heller actually did that foul shit.

  13. Mike Scorsese August 22, 2015 at 7:05 am - 

    So when do we support each other? Right or wrong, when do we say “that was good but I have concerns”? When do we stop attacking views and start combining them? We can rightfully judge everyone’s views, but condemnation is in no way a solution to our problems.

  14. Lee Just Lee August 22, 2015 at 9:07 am - 

    Great piece. Brilliant. I am glad that someone is saying it. And sure, he will be called a “hater” because that is the language that children are taught to offer to analytical and critical thinking. But this is a brilliant piece.

    Thanks for sharing/ writing.

  15. Cathaline Gray Carter August 22, 2015 at 9:19 am - 

    Who is this young thinker? He’s killing me softly with his song.

  16. jojo August 22, 2015 at 10:47 am - 

    some of the most celebrated and meaningful artists and activists weren’t appreciated until they were gone. sad you can’t appreciate his honor now.

  17. Ruby Red August 22, 2015 at 10:50 am - 

    People mostly speak from experience and make generalizations-it’s about word play.. Some probably would be more appropriate vs saying one group of ppl in general.. It’s so Not fair I agree but it’s life.. I’m a woman and black double minority.

  18. Tip August 22, 2015 at 11:21 am - 

    Yeah, The Panthers were the world’s most dangerous group – to women. They used psychological, physical and sexual violence to keep Black women in check. NWA like the BPP is not all bad or all good. And as an absolute lover of both as a Black women from the Bay, I can acknowledge the difference.

  19. BeniRose August 22, 2015 at 11:39 am - 

    As a Jew, this part made me a little uncomfortable too. I realized I’ve never felt uncomfortable agreeing and pointing the finger at white people, even though I’ve reaped the benefits of “being white”. Being an ally means we’re going to feel uncomfortable when truth is called out against the people we deeply identify with. For us, we may not identify as strongly with being white (even though we have surely benefited from looking white), so it’s easy to point the finger. There could be some real racism and stereotype behind Speech including “quiet little Jewish & White guys in polo shirts”, but that doesn’t mean we get to just dismiss it as portraying a stereotype. All the rich in Hollywood, white, black, Jewish, or otherwise, are to be called out.

  20. 60hz August 22, 2015 at 12:18 pm - 

    “Most of those revolutionaries you speak on? They’re college professors now at public universities. Getting paid by the very government they supposedly hated.”

    Not sure i get your point: public universities are publicly funded. Are you against public education?I’m confused… or are you saying revolutionaries should only work for private entities? Please explain because i’m not getting your point.

    Did these revolutionaries hate the government? I thought most of these activist were trying to get laws enacted that would be enforced via the government? Very few black activist were anarchist which would fall under government hating. So i’m totally missing that point too. Break it down for me…

  21. 60hz August 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm - 

    Well at least Dre apologized for beating the shit out of dee… and apple cosigned it since they are experts on the black experience – hey they own beats (lol) by dre afterall… plus they have worked with dre for the past year and half and they can honestly say he’s a changed man…

  22. David Reason Whitten August 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm - 

    Stop blaming the spectator. The problems of the hood were not created by us. The problems would still exist if they never put it on record.

  23. Commnt8r August 22, 2015 at 1:12 pm - 

    Thank you for this perspective. Articulate, thoughtful, needed, and as others pointed out, message delivered without insulting the artists.

  24. TechTock August 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm - 

    If you remember Speech the Native Tongues (De La Soul Tribe Black Sheep Latifah Jungle Bros etc) and other “positive” rap groups were often pitted against “reality” rap. (Soon to be called gangsta) Even BDP and KRS One changed into a conscious rap group to balance the noise of gansta rap. I don’t see

    Speech as being a hater bc he’s being true to his art. The sad thing is this “style” of expression was celebrated more than the other. You can reach ppl without profanity and being “hard” or “hardcore”. Listen to today’s blk music and it lacks the lyricism of the past. Even Jovi and Guy spoke romantically about women but today it’s hard to find. Sam Smith, a British import was praised as souful bc he spoke romance-even if it was for the sam sex

    So who’s to blame if it’s blk artists spreading uninspired unimaginative vulgar music?

  25. TechTock August 22, 2015 at 1:48 pm - 

    I think what Speech is saying is there is more of one thing and not a balance. Arrested Development did fade but many “positive” rap acts flourish. You’re own review of Speech’s article is full of hate & bitterness.

  26. Juba Kalamka August 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm - 

    An article from The Onion’s A.V. Club ( on the 20th anniversary of A.D.’s debut album) that will give some context to Speech’s romantic dishonestly about Arrested Development, “gangsta” rap and the early 1990s. Pull quote below

    “Why was 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days In The Life Of… so massive, undeniable, and important in 1992? Bear in mind that Arrested Development didn’t top a critic’s poll or go gold with an album that was filthy with the kind of socially conscious messages that are historically toxic to album sales: It topped the critics’ poll and went quadruple-platinum. It was the top pick of a broad consensus, not just a few passionate acolytes. Why has the album’s legacy only diminished with time?

    The answer, I suspect, has a lot to do with earnestness. Earnestness was both one of the group’s greatest strengths—it believed passionately in the rhetoric it espoused—and one of its downfalls.”

    http://www.avclub.com/article/in-1992-arrested-development-looked-like-the-futur-84775
    ——-
    Additional context: My old hip hop group opened Aressted’s first ever show in Chicago at the Avalon Niteclub on Belmont (across the street from Berlin) in April 1992. Their Unsung episode detailed more of his f*ckery so no need to detail that here. It was clear to me back then why by the time ZingalamaWetakeOurselvesWayTooFriggingSeriously came out that the dream was over.

  27. Eric Williams August 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm - 

    You look white because you ARE white! Moses was black and the Messiah also ,its why you don’t accept him. Stop acting like you are different because America gave you some middle eastern land to call your own.

  28. Brotha J August 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm - 

    Isn’t that exactly what Speech just said?

  29. Mike Scorsese August 22, 2015 at 4:02 pm - 

    No

  30. SOULTRAIN O G KEEDAH August 22, 2015 at 4:25 pm - 

    EXCELLENT write. Thank you for sharing it with us Bro.Toure. Sister Dred hipped me to you. Will tweet this. OneLove

  31. SOULTRAIN O G KEEDAH August 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm - 

    This article is not about you and African people are not a minority. Let’s not get sidetracked…Carry on.

  32. SOULTRAIN O G KEEDAH August 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm - 

    If one thinks there is “real racism” in what Speech has written, perhaps they should totally understand what racism is.

  33. Mona Bonaparte August 22, 2015 at 4:47 pm - 

    Eric Williams, grow up. Learn some history, do the research you need to make a clear thought-out response, and for God’s sake, DO NOT look at this from your personal standpoint. It will only make you look all the more ignorant, and I for one am tired of black folk sounding like the stereotypical ignorant folk we’ve been trying so hard to get away from.

  34. SOULTRAIN O G KEEDAH August 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm - 

    P.S. The misogyny would not be addressed in the film considering who was behind it. The article didn’t address it either, but it’s not a crime. They were not going to show Michel’e with broken bones or Dee Barnes beaten unmercifully. Nor would they show a clip of the nasty video my big sister and her kids clamored to be in where that young lady had beer thrown all over her. Who knows or cares what the nae of it was.
    Having been involved with the record industry I saw things happen that reminded me of what the elders did and did not do which could have made the lives better for the younger producers and artists. Snoop has a video mentioning knight offering producers $500. I was with his mentor in the 70’s when he paid a writer $500 for a song that went gold on a singing group, another producer $500, and Howard Hewitt $500 when he hopped in a singing group.
    Some folks who always profited no matter what, was the so-called jew. So if they are mentioned in an article I can relate to it. One could take the “er” off heller’s name for how he brought venom into a that young group Still it doesn’t dismiss what was done to women just because they could get away with it. Jews ca discuss the wrongs done to them but heaven forbid someone say they snatched royalties from Little Richard, Frankie Lymon, NWA, and COUNTLESS others from generations before.
    End of my rant.
    The (O.G.) Original Goddess has left the building…..while it was still on fire from truth torches 🙂

  35. Mona Bonaparte August 22, 2015 at 4:53 pm - 

    I have a great appreciation (if not a deep love) for Speech Thomas. He knows he’s a part of the system and has acknowledged the system has propelled him to the spotlight where he now sits. BUT, to address this issue with a depthness that is rare as it is honest, is a breath of fresh air. Yes, some black folks have not drank the koolaid and say this is some fo’ real stuff. They want the rest of us to really think about the overall agenda and ask why are we seeing this now…..AND WHAT ARE WE REALLY suppose to receive from this movie?

  36. Michael Joyner August 22, 2015 at 6:31 pm - 

    Isn’t Speech the same dude that jerk over group members of Arrested Development over money??? Kinda just like Eazy & Jerry Heller did to the rest of the members of NWA

  37. John Wesley Payne August 22, 2015 at 6:47 pm - 

    LOL…Im FAR from what your flawed assumption is…Anyway, the grooves of the music Dre put out were on.point, so was Ice Cube’s, I didnt care for the violent message but being someone of strong will, I could see beyond the lyrics and enjoy the music…I feel you guys missed the point of the movie, its not to revive gangsta rap but simply telling a story of some cats who made it out of an environment of drugs and gang violence….I feel they deserved their day and paid their dues, I APPLAUD them, NOT in the half hearted way SPEECH did, but I APPLAUD them WHOLEHEARTEDLY for their effort, One can NOT be a “HATER” to do that…JP

  38. Zina K August 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm - 

    Wow! Powerful and incredibly well thought out.

  39. Ted Wojtasik August 23, 2015 at 12:04 am - 

    So very, very true, and he makes a great point in reference to Public Enemy. PE album It takes a Nation of Millions… will go down in history as one of the most important albums in regard to suffrage ever written. NWA were just posers out for the cash grab. I find it ironic that Chris Rock understood this years ago when he made the spoof CB4 as a thinly veiled jab at NWA.

  40. Colette Cyrus-Burnett August 23, 2015 at 2:38 am - 

    YES! THis is the most wonderful piece yet! Thank you for getting the words out! THank you!

  41. John Wesley Payne August 23, 2015 at 3:44 am - 

    …True, have to say EXCELLENT observation of CB4 LOTS of.similarities ..lol…GUSTO

  42. Arnold Slaughter August 23, 2015 at 7:04 am - 

    This epic rant almost made vomit. The Black Panthers were an armed militia that wanted to fight violence with violence. Which was not really a viable option given that white America has an arsenal that exceeds that of every other country on the planet. So putting them ahead of NWA really has no logic and is fundamentally flawed. Public Enemy supported NWA so that reference is flawed. Let’s skip over deficient educational system, a racially corrupt legal system, and the exclusion from participation in the economic system that our ancestors created, and let’s blame this NWA movie for our problems.

    To look at the entire body of work and life of the member of NWA it is wrong to levy hate on this movie. Yes, there are flaws but at the end of the day it is just a movie. Speech sounds like he has an axe to grind. But, he has the wrong target.

  43. Jodi Blu August 23, 2015 at 9:29 am - 

    I agree with a lot of what was written. Many artists speak from experience, many get dogged financially if they don’t understand the business side (which most don’t ), and if you mention any truth you’re a “Public Enemy”.
    I too was surprised that they picked NWA. BUT there we’re a lot of lessons that people can learn from in this movie. Watch the company you keep, understand the business you’re in, know you’re rights, know the law, where condoms, etc.
    Can we just be happy another black story was told, despite the flaws and negativity? No story is a perfect narrative with honest upbringings. Without good connects yes you need a lot of capital. Most drug dealers or those who are cool with one willing to finance will get on. Its.life

  44. legend zero August 23, 2015 at 10:02 am - 

    Article lost me at “trigger happy white cops”. Yes, continue to assume no responsibility for actions and behaviors. The truth about every one of those “unarmed” situations is contrary to your agenda so you keep ignoring then.

  45. beansouptimes August 23, 2015 at 11:46 am - 

    Thank you Sister! I miss Sis. Dred!

  46. Paolo Lorenzo August 23, 2015 at 12:53 pm - 

    Langston Hughes ought to smack yo ass Speech. This debate is too elitist for my taste. Sure Straight Outta Compton (which I have not yet seen because it was disallowed in the PH) or any other black movie is made out of the commodification of the black people and that it has a clear political agenda that is against minorities and the marginalized but I don’t think we should entirely put doubt on the artist’s political intent find solutions to such problems. This is too divisive, the way you spelled Eazy-E’s name with an S only implies that you are still on that political correctness shit, on that we have to change ourselves before anything else. You are too high up from your tower speaking about this “moral infrastructure” the minority and marginalized you are so eager to change. You are nothing but a victim-blamer. As Wu-Tang said, shame on this n-word.

  47. he_who_scoffs_at_danger August 23, 2015 at 2:33 pm - 

    You know what had a real cultural impact? That one song ‘Tennessee’ that went gold for two weeks or so. White people loved that song. Same for Dead Prez. Their message of dormroom pseudorevolutionary schtick is almost memorable. Kudos for changing the world, fellas.

    NWA isn’t an enduring cultural touchstone because of political correctness but in spite of it. Ice Cube’s motivating criterion wasn’t his professor’s approval.

  48. he_who_scoffs_at_danger August 23, 2015 at 2:37 pm - 

    No. He said something to the effect of ‘I come not to condemn Ceasar but to praise him’ and then goes on to announce that NWA was a tool of white supremacy.

  49. Sango Kainde August 23, 2015 at 2:41 pm - 

    Greetings my friends, please take the time in your busy day to review our blog. Our program is going full fledge thanks to the amazing support of our friends, we are building our community gardens, which are being instituted to instruct our people in growing food for free! Now is the time to donate a gift via Amazon Prime, links are available on our blog, which is, “www.gardeninggiftsformother.blogspot.com “. Purchase a gift today, Any purchase over $35.00 comes with free shipping, this is an amazing offer and a great way to send a supporting contribution to Black Nationalism. Amazon is a trusted online retailer and world market. Remember Queen Quet, the hardworking warrior queen of the Gullah Nation, said, “Food is the beginning of Nationalism”. The first thing is feed the people, then house and cloth them. We are building an economy that comes complete with production, manufacturing and service. So go now and check out our blog, send a gift, spread the word to all of your Black Nationalists friends and family. Black Nationalists and Pan Africanist unite. Pray for those in Ferguson by supporting the only solution to injustice, “Black Nationalism”.

  50. he_who_scoffs_at_danger August 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm - 

    College-educated* Social Justice Warriors with their heads stuck up their asses. The white version is just as much an unwelcome nuisance.

    *nothing wrong with an education. Specifically, I’m referring to poetry majors and litcrit majors.

  51. he_who_scoffs_at_danger August 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm - 

    Shorter Speech: “If NWA is allowed to stand as a valid cultural image of our people, we’ll have forfeited our right to uplift a black man to the Presidency.”

  52. he_who_scoffs_at_danger August 23, 2015 at 3:54 pm - 

    Arrested Development thrived for one year not on its own merits as an artistic effort, but for its utility as a ‘good example’ to wag in the faces of ordinary black artists and audiences.

    And it was white SJWs who can’t abide black people using the n-word doing the wagging. They found the educated, middleclass scolding of AD quite relatable. AD was every white college liberals honorary black friend back in the 90s.

  53. he_who_scoffs_at_danger August 23, 2015 at 3:58 pm - 

    Spam scripts are getting cleverer and cleverer.

  54. Scott Gallagher August 23, 2015 at 6:21 pm - 

    Speech has always been dead on with his obersevations and truth of the realities of the world.

    Much respect and support for the appreciation of all black cultures. Continue to open my eyes and the rest of the white privileged america.

    This does remind me of Obama saying that we need to stop looking up to musicians and athletes as role models and start looking towards the doctors and scientists of the world.

  55. Scott Gallagher August 23, 2015 at 6:28 pm - 

    Maybe your group sucked and he didn’t want to be associated with you? You sound bitter.

  56. Scott Gallagher August 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm - 

    As a privilege white man, I am thankful for AD giving me some culture as a teenager. Their music brought love and community all the multiple times I’ve seen them were positive experiences.

    Why all the hate?

  57. Scott Gallagher August 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm - 

    “AD was every white college liberals honorary black friend back in the 90s.”

    What’s wrong with that? It teaches white people about culture, love, respect, and admiration for not just one black artist, but all of them.

    …and it’s way better than Bobby Brown, LL or the other crap they were feeding modern radio in the 90s.

  58. Carlyle C. Richards Jr. August 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm - 

    Why don’t you make the movie you’re looking for then? We will support it too because we’re consumers we always want more….did it ever occur to you they may not have been exposed to the same truth you were???Speech is obviously well educated so why not create the substantive movie yourself? People always quick to share there opinion when nobody ask for it…put your creativity where you’re mouth is

  59. Encara Quesocpetit August 23, 2015 at 10:23 pm - 

    I wondered where voices like this are in the whole scene. Not looking for a “leader” but still wondering why the podium stays silent in such volumes. We know why, but lining up hasn’t paid off either. Reminds of Ali’s main message: If we would rise in any collective way, seeing the hate that never stopped against us, the we cannot listen to or be our enemy – sucking up “hood style” while serving the real gangsters or staying quiet, not in word but in action. The women of that crew/era are also appreciated for just standing up.

  60. shangi m. jones August 23, 2015 at 10:28 pm - 

    Best response on the page. Thank you.

  61. Chirpy August 24, 2015 at 8:07 am - 

    Women are not a minority.

  62. Thebuttonfreak August 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm - 

    awesome op-ed. Except Scorsese isn’t jewish. Also, who cares if he is?

  63. Jamal Abel Lewis-Service August 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm - 

    Why is it that every time a bunch of brothers want to do something positive, some pseudo conscious douchebag has to be a nitpicking arse about it?

    And if he has a problem, why not make a movie of his own?

  64. John Wesley Payne August 24, 2015 at 7:00 pm - 

    You are CORRECT Scott ( Mr. privileged) Gallagher…they did NOT want to be associated with me cause they were on a “MAJOR LABEL” and I was an INDEPENDENT ARTIST on an.INDEPENDENT label kicking ass on the SAME CONCERT BILL as them, I DIDN’T have to sell my soul to the man for a major deal amd was in the SAME place as them and they HATED that, ESPECIALLY the fact that I WIPED the stage with them SINGLE HANDED WITHOUT an entire band, just me and my mic… ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT came on stage and had an ENTIRE ARMY of people looking like the entire cast of ROOTS,.lol… one HAD to ask what was all of the camouflage, distractions, smoke,and mirrors for ??…if your music is STRONG you dont need KIZZIE, KUNTA and all the dancers jumping around…so to answer your LAME comment I FAR from sucked or I would not have been on stage or in the TOP 10 on radio play as them had I as you say “sucked” …now that SPEECH and his.group have been DROPPED from the label and KICKED OFF the plantation, he wants to post himself in a seat of judgment against Dre and others wirh vailed comments..how dare he !! ..anyway,.back to your IPAD and video games” dude”…lol…

  65. Kimberly Sizemore August 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm - 

    I saw the film and agree with Speech Thomas. Thoughtful and considerate piece.
    Thank you.

  66. John Wesley Payne August 24, 2015 at 7:39 pm - 

    Im just now seeing this second comment so let me respond to this to enlighten you my friend then Im done Scott (“Mr. Privileged WHITE MAN”) Gallagher..lol…your words not mine….Anyway, If you are NOT a black person you will NEVER understand how “we” have fought and struggled MANY YEARS to avoid the image of the cotton picking, down trodden, subservient, poverty stricken people like the media enjoys portraying us as, then HERE COMES ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT…it made ALL THE SENSE in the world why they were SO APPEALING to preppy suburbanite white kids like yourself and the “POP” crowd cause their music and image was NON-THREATENING and subservient….an image that MOST white people embrace and LOVE seeing…As you previously said, you felt they introduced you to a “sense” of culture, if they were ORIGINALLY from AFRICA then YES, I would ABSOLUTELY buy into what you say, but these were actually preppy, college educated black kids from Atlanta in drag POSING to be afro-centric…so.WHY all the attitude, t hat does NOT make you better than the average African-American cause you wearing a native african garb …anyway, no one is hating on SPEECH, while entitled to his opinion, I and MOST of us just feel he is in NO PLACE to judge CUBE and DRE for telling their story while making a HUGE FINANCIAL SPLASH of it, its OBVIOUSLY a story people are interested in which the box office has proved over the past week…again, though not totally proud of the.images from the past, they told it like it was and is…PROPS to.Dre for reaching back and bringing new talent along..hence Kendrick Lamar.,etc..Arrested Development and ALL their “blackness” have spurned NOTHING and they had the SAME platform as Dre.unlike me I STRUGGLED INDEPENDENTLY and got to the SAME place but WITHOUT selling.out nor with the help of corporate dollars and promotion of a now defunct “MAJOR LABEL” like he WAS once signed to….so no one is hating some just need to STAY in their lane when driving at the mouth and avoid JUDGING

  67. John Wesley Payne August 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm - 

    ..LOL…..that’s a.GREAT comment Michael, I.feel.you.on.that….Lol…

  68. bellasys August 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm - 

    Important perspective in the article. Someone I follow on facebook has a lot to say about this too, in agreement.

    Me? I was living in North Long Beach when the riots were burning. They were nothing like the Watts riots, which was revolutionary. Glad Public Enemy came up. For example the song “Welcome to the Terrordome” by PE had people up in arms doing drive-bys on Hollywood theaters (Melrose). So NWA “most dangerous” no.

    I get all this, though. I get how a movie entertains and tells a story. It’s not always the most meaningful story. Unfortunately today I see a lot of suburban white kids hyping out on this. Maybe that’s what it was intended to do because I don’t see it stirring up the hate, really. It isn’t strong enough. I see it as entertainment. Good entertainment, and valid points by the writer.

  69. Nebs August 25, 2015 at 11:29 am - 

    Bruh this is it right here.

  70. Scott Gallagher August 25, 2015 at 12:57 pm - 

    It’s good that you’re keeping racism against other African Americans alive and kicking. You’ve got a lot of hatred towards a group that wanted to spread love and happiness to the world in a time of all the garbage that was around at that time.

    Also thanks for the radical stereotypes that I’m a ‘dude’, use an ‘ipad’ or play video games. It shows your maturity and apparently I stuck a nail when I said your group sucked. Apparently, just like you they do.

  71. Scott Gallagher August 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm - 

    “So no one is hating some just need to STAY in their lane when driving at the mouth and avoid JUDGING”

    These are great words of advice, you should take them.

  72. RabbleRouser August 25, 2015 at 11:00 pm - 

    This is why black people will never advance. Because of ignorant people like this who think anything produced by a black no matter how poisonous should be above criticism. Even if it was financed and organized by white supremacists.

  73. RabbleRouser August 25, 2015 at 11:01 pm - 

    First of all what platform would he have to promote a movie that would reach millions of people?

    And the idea that we support our own is laughable considering how little of the black dollar is spent in the black community

  74. RabbleRouser August 25, 2015 at 11:04 pm - 

    Again if you want to know why black people are probably doomed just read the comment section.

    There are people who believe any black person of notoriety should be above criticism even if all evidence shows they are agents of white supremacy.

    The mere fact that they are black they should be supported no matter what, and anyone who criticizes them is the true enemy.

  75. Desmoné August 26, 2015 at 12:36 am - 

    Testing 123

  76. Desmoné August 26, 2015 at 12:38 am - 

    testing

  77. Kris Funn August 26, 2015 at 3:29 pm - 

    In my Allen Iverson voice…. “we talking bout a Movie?!?!? we talking ’bout a movie? Hear it is 2015 and we talking bout a movie?!?!”

    Love the passionate commentary on movies and music….. only if artists did that about public policy. But…. we talking bout a Movie?!?!? So the answer to all “our” (rolling my eyes at “we”) is changing “our” music and movies…. Atleast Ice Cube was ACTUALLY talking about politics and a broken system ….and not ….movies….we talking bout movies?!?!?

  78. Sango Kainde August 28, 2015 at 10:48 am - 

    Solar power the future. Greetings my friends, please take the time in your busy day to review our blog. Our program is going full fledge thanks to the amazing support of our friends, we are building our community gardens, which are being instituted to instruct our people in growing food for free! Now is the time to donate a gift via Amazon Prime, links are available on our blog, which is, “www.gardeninggiftsformother.blogspot.com “. Purchase a gift today, Any purchase over $35.00 comes with free shipping, this is an amazing offer and a great way to send a supporting contribution to Black Nationalism. Amazon is a trusted online retailer and world market. Remember Queen Quet, the hardworking warrior queen of the Gullah Nation, said, “Food is the beginning of Nationalism”. The first thing is feed the people, then house and cloth them. We are building an economy that comes complete with production, manufacturing and service. So go now and check out our blog, send a gift, spread the word to all of your Black Nationalists friends and family. Black Nationalists and Pan Africanist unite. Pray for those in Ferguson by supporting the only solution to injustice, “Black Nationalism”. Love, Sango.

  79. Queen Mother August 29, 2015 at 12:38 am - 

    Excellent and brilliant insight! #truth #tribecalledcurl

  80. Queen Mother August 29, 2015 at 12:39 am - 

    #truth

  81. Queen Mother August 29, 2015 at 12:42 am - 

    #truth Ase’O

  82. Sango Kainde August 29, 2015 at 8:51 am - 

    Solar power the future. Greetings my friends, please take the time in your busy day to review our blog. Our program is going full fledge thanks to the amazing support of our friends, we are building our community gardens, which are being instituted to instruct our people in growing food for free! Now is the time to donate a gift via Amazon Prime, links are available on our blog, which is, ” http://www.gardeninggiftsformother.blogspot.com “. Purchase a gift today, Any purchase over $35.00 comes with free shipping, this is an amazing offer and a great way to send a supporting contribution to Black Nationalism. Amazon is a trusted online retailer and world market. Remember Queen Quet, the hardworking warrior queen of the Gullah Nation, said, “Food is the beginning of Nationalism”. The first thing is feed the people, then house and cloth them. We are building an economy that comes complete with production, manufacturing and service. So go now and check out our blog, send a gift, spread the word to all of your Black Nationalists friends and family. Black Nationalists and Pan Africanist unite. Pray for those in Ferguson by supporting the only solution to injustice, “Black Nationalism”. Love, Sango.

  83. Sango Kainde August 31, 2015 at 8:54 am - 

    Solar power the future. Greetings my friends, please take the time in your busy day to review our blog. Our program is going full fledged thanks to the amazing support of our friends, we are building our community gardens, which are being instituted to instruct our people in growing food for free! Now is the time to donate a gift via Amazon Prime, links are available on our blog, which is, ” http://www.gardeninggiftsformother.blogspot.com “. Purchase a gift today, Any purchase over $35.00 comes with free shipping, this is an amazing offer and a great way to send a supporting contribution to Black Nationalism. Amazon is a trusted online retailer and world market. Remember Queen Quet, the hardworking warrior queen of the Gullah Nation, said, “Food is the beginning of Nationalism”. The first thing is feed the people, then house and cloth them. We are building an economy that comes complete with production, manufacturing and service. So go now and check out our blog, send a gift, spread the word to all of your Black Nationalists friends and family. Black Nationalists and Pan Africanist unite. Pray for those in Ferguson by supporting the only solution to injustice, “Black Nationalism”. Love, Sango.

  84. Cynthia Maryse September 6, 2015 at 4:09 am - 

    I thought the piece was brilliant and dealt with issues that many have with materialistic nihilist music portrayed as hip hop. Personally I can’t support music that encourages and promotes drugs, guns, mistreatment and despise of women and glorification of ignorance. Hip hop used to be fun but also uplifting and inspiring !! I went to law school partly because of hip hop…

    What I did not like though was the end of Speech’s statement, talking about “sulky blacks” is condescending. What does that even mean? Who is he to say that and how self-righteous from him…

  85. Harkon Ajala September 8, 2015 at 3:39 am - 

    THIS is exactly what I was about to write before I scrolled to your comment RabbleRouser. You know the slaves are still slaves (even if they’re off the plantation) when they rise up to attack and question the people who teach them to love and value themselves but champion and defend the people who teach them to debase and hate themselves and happily call themselves “niggas and bitches and gangstas and hos and thugs and criminals.” Sad. We still have a loooooong way to go…

  86. Brenda Drummer Martin December 8, 2015 at 5:10 pm - 

    It is important that we take time to analyze what is being put before us especially when it can have major impact on our images to the public at large or to our own families. We must always respect the struggles we endure now as well as the struggles of the generations before us. Please also enjoy this blog I previously wrote that highlights some of those leaders and their challenges. We can still learn from their mistakes and their victories. https://debateandswitch.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/1576/

  87. NotHereForYourOpinions December 17, 2015 at 2:42 pm - 

    African people are not a minority? What’s your level of education? Better yet of understanding? and I don’t need advice on what track to stay on. My opinions are just that

  88. NotHereForYourOpinions December 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm - 

    Minority group is a term referring to a category of people differentiated from the social majority, i.e. those who hold the majority of positions of social power in a society, and may be defined by law. Rather than a relational “social group”, as the term would indicate, minority group refers to the above-described. The differentiation can be based on one or more observable human characteristics, including, but not limited to: ethnicity, race, religion, caste, gender, wealth, health or sexual orientation. Usage of the term is applied to various situations and civilizations within history, despite its popular mis-association with a numerical, statistical minority.[citation needed] In the social sciences, the term “minority” is used to refer to categories of persons who hold fewer positions of social power.[clarification needed]

  89. NotHereForYourOpinions December 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm - 

    That’s from Wiki which isn’t a good source but it’s a good start for you to begin your research of understanding things thanks

  90. Nunya Biznys January 31, 2016 at 9:14 am - 

    This is so on point, so true, so relevant, so real.

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