JumpinJack AJ

JJFP.com Potnas
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About JumpinJack AJ

  • Rank
    Suburban Kid Wit An Urban Degree
  • Birthday 05/06/1980

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  • Fav character on FPOBA Will
  • Fav Will/JJFP album Homebase
  • Fav Will Movie Bad Boys

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  • AIM JumpinJack AJ
  • Website URL https://www.facebook.com/jumpinjackaj

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location H-town, Maryland, USA
  • Interests Hip-Hop, Comedy, Acting, Writing, Bringing positive vybes in this negative world.

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JumpinJack AJ's Activity

  1. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: What Are You Listening To? XXII   

    2PAC - I'm Getting Money
    R U Still Down (Remember Me) (1994/1995-released 1997)
     
     
  2. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: Staright Outta Compton - Official Trailer   

    Dr. Dre Announces Compton: The Soundtrack, Explains Why Detox Never Came Out
    "I didn't like it. It wasn't good. The record, it just wasn't good."
    By
    Jeremy Gordon and Matthew Strausson August 1, 2015 at 7:05 p.m. EDT 
    Photo by Natalie Kardos
    Update: The album's official title is Compton A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, and it's out on Aftermath/Interscope. It's available for pre-order on iTunes. Find the album cover and tracklist below.
    Update #2: Listen to the full episode of "The Pharmacy With Dr. Dre" here on Apple Music's Connect.
    Dr. Dre has announced Compton: The Soundtrack, inspired by his work on Straight Outta Compton, the upcoming N.W.A. biopic. The album is out August 7, exclusively on iTunes' Apple Music.
    Dre made the announcement on his Beats 1 radio show "The Pharmacy". He was joined on today's episode by Ice Cube and Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray.
    The album was first revealed by Ice Cube, who also reiterated that a planned N.W.A. reunion tour might be happening. Recently, a representative for Dre and Eminem (who is also rumored to partake in the reunion) denied that anything was in the works.
    The album comes on the heels of the wait for Detox, Dre's long-gestating follow-up to 1999's The Chronic 2001. After releasing singles such as "Kush" and "I Need a Doctor", and teasing a February 2011 release, nothing happened. Last summer, reports emerged that Dre had dropped the Detox name entirely. Now, Dre has revealed that he scrapped Detox because he was not happy with it:
    Straight Outta Compton is in theaters August 14. Watch the trailer below.
    Compton A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre:

    01 Intro
    02 Talk About It [ft. King Mez & Justus]
    03 Genocide [ft. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay]
    04 It's All on Me [ft. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid]
    05 All in a Day's Work [ft. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius]
    06 Darkside/Gone [ft. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar]
    07 Loose Cannons [ft. Xzibit & COLD 187um]
    08 Issues [ft. Ice Cube & Anderson Paak]
    09 Deep Water [ft. Kendrick Lamar & Justus]
    10 One Shot One Kill [ft. Snoop Dogg]
    11 Just Another Day [ft. Asia Bryant]
    12 For the Love of Money [ft. Jill Scott & Jon Connor]
    13 Satisfaction [ft. Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius & King Mez]
    14 Animals [ft. Anderson Paak]
    15 Medicine Mane [ft. Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson Paak]
    16 Talking to My Diary
  3. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: JJFP Photo   

    JJ+FP at Jeff's wedding.  He just posted this on Facebook.

  4. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: Jaden Smith - Scarface (Official Music Video)   

    I really like Jaden. His music isn't always geared for my personal taste, but I like the vibe he's on. Creative, artsy, unconventional, and good.
  5. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: Staright Outta Compton - Official Trailer   

    Ice Cube Says Dr. Dre’s New Album Comes Out This Weekend
    Jul 29th, '15  •  News  •  by Paul Thompson 
     All over the country, kids from the high school class of 2017 are taking SAT prep courses and sharpening their driving skills to lock down their learners permits. They have a lot in common: they were born in the last full year of Clinton’s presidency, the last year of the millennium, when everyone was stockpiling water and flashlights for the Y2K crash. There’s one more thing that ties them together–they were born the same year as Dr. Dre’s last solo album. 2001 will turn 16 later this year, and while the follow-up (tentatively titled Detox, up until recently) seemed as if it would never come, Ice Cube announced in a radio interview today (July 29) that Dre’s third LP will be out this Saturday, August 1. ”Dre is dropping an album inspired by [Straight Outta Compton],” Cube said, calling it “mega” and the version of the legendary producer that “everybody’s been waiting for.”
    The N.W.A. biopic hits theaters August 14. Cube was careful to clarify that what Dre’s dropping this weekend is an album inspired by the flick, rather than a soundtrack in the traditional sense. Elsewhere in the interview, the revered MC touches on the legal hoops N.W.A. had to jump through when they were starting out and on how protest songs like “**** the Police” feel as prescient as ever. “We got harassed a lot,” he remembers, “especially on tour.” He goes on: “They would harass us. They wasn’t coming to really protect the show, they was more coming to harass us, trying to intimidate us. They would always read us the city ordinances on what you can say. We would get obscenity laws read to us and threatened that if we did any of this, we were going to jail.”
    http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2015/07/ice-cube-says-dr-dre-new-album-comes-out-august-1/
  6. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: DE LA SOUL'S NEW ALBUM   

    Here's a letter the fellas sent everyone who donated to their Kickstarter....

     25
    Jump!Posted by De La Soul
    ► Play video What’s up y’all. The journey we’ve been on to complete this album has been absolutely amazing. We’re in the home stretch of completing the recording portion, that’s laying down vocals, overdubbing instruments and arranging things exactly how we'd like them. After this process is complete, which will be in the next couple of weeks, we'll begin mixing. Mixing is were we take all the individual parts/sounds and tracks of a song, EQ, tweak and blend them together to create audio perfection. We're thrilled to have Bob Power (who's mixed albums for De La, Tribe, D'Angelo, Common and many others) at the helm of the mixing board. This album is going to SOUND amazing!! In the process and after that stage, we’ll still have more things to complete in order to get this music to you. Here’s a complete list:
    Master recordings Legal Distribution Create packaging Marketing Fulfillment Release As we get to each step we’ll explain the process.
    In-between making all this stuff happen, we’re still performing all over the world. Check the dates and if we’re in your town come through.
    Show Dates:
    https://www.facebook.com/wearedelasoul/app_123966167614127
    We’ll be sending out all the surveys in August to get the info we need for fulfillment. Stay tuned.
    Peace,
    DLS
  7. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: What Are You Listening To? XXII   

    XSCAPE + MC LYTE - Can't Hang (All Star Remix)
    Off The Hook/Can't Hang CD Promo (1995)
     
  8. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: BOBBI KRISTINA (WHITNEY HOUSTON'S DAUGHTER) PASSES AWAY   

    Bobby Brown Releases A Statement In The Death Of Bobbi Kristina: “Our Loss Is Unimaginable”
    07.27.15 || JaneenIFWT 
    The tragic news of 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina’s death is a painful one, but surely no one has endured the pain like her father, Bobby Brown, 46. In a statement released via attorney Christopher Brown, Bobby speaks out. “Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away July 26, 2015, surrounded by her family. She is finally at peace in the arms of God,” the statement read. “We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.” Attorney Brown added, “Krissy fought to get well for months, however she has [succumbed] to her injuries.”
    Check out the gallery for a daddy/daughter bond.
    Due to his emotional stress at the moment, family who spoke with Bobby after news broke, tells PEOPLE, “He is taking comfort in the fact that she’s with her mother and that there will be no more sadness or pain. She is at peace,” says the source. “He knows that and is taking comfort in that.”
    Bobbi’s death is now being investigated as a homicide.
    http://www.inflexwetrust.com/2015/07/27/bobby-brown-releases-a-statement-in-the-death-of-bobbi-kristina-our-loss-is-unimaginable/?wt=5
  9. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: BOBBI KRISTINA (WHITNEY HOUSTON'S DAUGHTER) PASSES AWAY   

    I'm not sure why the article cut and pasted the way it did.  My prayers go out to the family.  They have had a difficult last few years.  I admire that they did all they could and kept hope.  Since the situation looks shady, I hope justice is accomplished and that the family finds a freedom these dark days soon.
    http://www.tmz.com/2015/07/26/bobbi-kristina-dead-dies-whitney-houston-daughter-bobby-brown/
  10. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: BOBBI KRISTINA (WHITNEY HOUSTON'S DAUGHTER) PASSES AWAY   

    Bobbi Kristina Dead -- Whitney Houston's Daughter Dies at 22
     Rest In Peace1 Whitney Houston's Daughter
    Bobbi Kristina Dead at 22 7/26/152 Bobbi Kristina
    Mysterious Tent Goes Up Outside Hospice 7/15/153 Bobbi Kristina
    Someone's Shopping Death Bed Photo 7/3/154 Pat Houston, Tina Brown
    Lock Hands As Bobbi Kristina Slips Away 6/30/155 Bobbi Kristina
    Houstons and Browns Make Peace In Final Days 6/28/156 Bobby Brown
    Heavy Hearted Visit to Hospice 6/25/157 Bobbi Kristina
    Prosecutors Gearing Up for Murder Case 6/25/158 Bobbi Kristina
    Off Medications ... Family Is Letting Her Go 6/24/159Whitney Houston's Daughter
    Bobbi Kristina
    Dead at 22
    7/26/2015 5:47 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
    EXCLUSIVE
    Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's daughter Bobbi Kristina has died at the age of 22.
    She passed away outside Atlanta in the hospice care facility where she's been since June 24 ... when her family decided to take her off all meds. As we first reported, a specialist had told them there was no chance of recovery. 
    The family says Bobbi Kristina was surrounded by family and, "She is finally at peace in the arms of God."
    Bobbi Kristina was found submerged in her bathtub on January 31, and police believe she was underwater for anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes. Paramedics were able to resuscitate her, but she was in a medically induced coma and placed on life support. 
    Ultimately, Pat Houston and Bobby -- co-guardians for Bobbi Kristina -- had to make the decision to withdraw medications. It was a rare moment of agreement for the Browns and Houstons ... who had battled about BK's condition throughout her hospitalization.
    TMZ broke the story ... the D.A. has been gearing up for a murder case, and her boyfriend Nick Gordon would be their first person of interest. Police said there were bruises on Bobbi Kristina's face and body after Gordon and a friend, Max Lomas, found her in the tub.
    Of course, Whitney died from a drug overdose in 2012 while sitting in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

    Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2015/07/26/bobbi-kristina-dead-dies-whitney-houston-daughter-bobby-brown/#ixzz3h3QsRA3R
  11. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: What Are You Listening To? XXII   

    TEDDY RILEY - Old Jam
    (2013)
     
  12. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: JANET JACKSON IS BACK!!!   

    I love this song so much.  I hope she defeats the odds and ends up with a dope project that is just successful, if not more than Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, etc.  She could single-handedly help other legendary artists have a chance at Top 40 success again.
  13. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: JANET JACKSON IS BACK!!!   

    Inside Janet Jackson's Comeback Gamble and the Hurdle of the 'Aging Diva' Stereotype
    By Melinda Newman and Gail Mitchell | July 23, 2015 10:30 AM EDT
     Janet Jackson accepts the ultimate icon: music dance visual award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. 
    Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP  Ageism? hardly. With tour tickets selling briskly and a new album bringing major buzz, the 49-year-old bucks the trend.
    Time can be cruel to the female pop star rounding 50. No matter how little her talent might diminish, under the spotlight’s glare, critics gleefully count ­wrinkles and listen for pitchy vocals in a way that rarely happens with male artists. Just ask Madonna, 56, or 45-year-old Mariah Carey, whose journeys into middle age have been ­challenging at best. Britney Spears, 33, Jennifer Lopez, 46, Celine Dion, 47, and Shania Twain, 49, already have taken the Vegas route. (Granted, Cher at 69 seems immune, but she’s the exception to most rules.) Can Janet Jackson, at 49, avoid the syndrome?
    She’s off to a strong start. Since a May 16 online tease of “new music, new world tour, a new movement,” Jackson has rapidly reeled off news about the launch of her own Rhythm Nation Records (a worldwide partnership with BMG), her first studio album in seven years and the initial two legs of a world tour, starting Aug. 31.
    Jackson’s new single, “No Sleeep,” rose to No. 5 in its second week on Billboard’s Adult R&B airplay chart -- her first top five hit on that tally in 11 years -- and the song will get added sizzle when the album version, featuring red-hot rapper J. Cole, goes to radio on July 23. But most of all, her 65-date Unbreakable Tour is selling tickets at a blazing clip. According to promoter Live Nation, 88 percent of the tickets on the trek’s first leg (Aug. 31 to Nov. 15) were purchased two weeks after going on sale; nearly 80 percent of the tickets for the second leg (Jan. 12 to March 9) were gone in two days.
    Janet Jackson & J. Cole Team Up for 'No Sleeep' Remix: Exclusive
    After a long lukewarm period, it seems the world wants Janet Jackson back. Still, by diva standards, the Janet rollout has had a relatively low profile so far. Why? “I think there’s a desperation to a lot of the older divas,” says Jon Cohen, evp of recorded music at BMG US. “They’ve got to hit it out of the park. With Janet, if she doesn’t put out a cross-format smash right out of the box, people think it isn’t a success, but that’s not it. This was completely calculated.”
    Indeed, initial talk of a “multiple Janet projects occurring simultaneously” goes back at least to 2010, according to one source who was working with Jackson at the time. Back then, she was managed by Kenneth Crear and it seemed that new music was imminent, having built up “so much good will” over the years that “you just had to mention her name, it didn’t even have to be anything of substance, and people would go ape-s---t.”
    But then, following a 2011 No. 1s tour, Jackson effectively pulled a vanishing act, ­marrying Qatari ­billionaire Wissam Al Mana in 2012 and shelving those very endeavors for what, to longtime fans, seemed like an eternity. Enter Kathy Ireland. The model/­businesswoman took a vested interest in Jackson’s career through Sterling/Winters, Jackson’s ­management company, which is owned by Kathy Ireland Worldwide and run by ­president/COO Stephen Roseberry. Sharing management duties are Jaime Mendoza and Jessica Davenport of JDJ Entertainment, who, as a group, negotiated with BMG to lock down a recording budget for Jackson (to the tune of at least $500,000, according to an insider) along with a sizable marketing spend.
    Hot 100 Chart Moves: Janet Jackson Returns With 40th Career Hit, 'No Sleeep'
    Alternative financing models are becoming the norm even for heritage artists once used to grandiose paydays. Jackson herself landed a record-breaking $32 million deal with Virgin Records in 1991. Nine years later, Carey commanded an $80 ­million contract for four albums. But Carey signed to Epic earlier this year for a more modest advance of $2 million, according to sources. Speaking to Billboard in May, Epic chairman L.A. Reid laid out the lay of the land: For Carey "to even be on the radio at this point in her career is a huge accomplishment," he said. "Because radio doesn't cater to veteran artists or legends. Radio caters to in-the-moment stars."
    So what is a Janet Jackson album worth in 2015? She’s one of the most successful artists in pop history, having sold some 20 million albums in the SoundScan era, which began five years after her 1986 breathrough, Control. During that time, she's also notched 10 Hot 100 No. 1s (through 2001) and 27 top 10 singles overall, tying her with Carey and Elton John. Her last album, 2008’s Discipline, has moved a respectable but hardly blockbuster 456,000 units, according to Nielsen Music. Her Number Ones package released in 2009, meanwhile, has moved 273,000 units.  
    BMG, which is ­providing ­marketing and promotion while the singer retains ownership of the recordings, declines to reveal specifics about Jackson’s ­licensing deal, but an insider familiar with the company’s contracts says BMG tends to favor “small-money, short-term deals.” In Jackson's case: no advance but an attractive back-end (a 50/50 split). 
    Janet Jackson, Miguel & Lauryn Hill: Real-Time Twitter Chart Rewind Ep. 55
    The investment saw the singer through the last seven months of round-the-clock production with longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for an album that is eyeing a late September release. 
    Adds Cohen: “The project needs a level of money to protect it. Janet and her camp are extremely aware that it’s 2015 -- ­everyone is realistic about what record-selling and streaming mean in this era. Janet was very fair about the deal.”
    It’s about the long view, says former Virgin president Phil Quartararo, who has a hand in steering Jackson’s current career path as a member of her extended “team,” and that means life for an artist beyond the “pop silo.” Jackson, he says, “has had such a vast career in music, TV and film; she’s not your average pop star. We’re going to work this record for a long time. It’s not something that’s going to come and go.”
    A version this article first appeared in the Aug. 1 issue of Billboard.
  14. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: Staright Outta Compton - Official Trailer   

    Okay, I'm not sure why the interview and the pictures overlapped like that.  You can read this article/interview here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/dr-dre-ice-cube-break-810256?facebook_20150722
  15. JumpinJack AJ added a post in a topic: Staright Outta Compton - Official Trailer   


     Dr. Dre, Ice Cube Break Silence on N.W.A Movie, Suge Knight's Murder Charge and a Reunion Tour (With Eminem)
    By Tatiana Siegel - Photo by Eric Ray Davidson
     This story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
    I'm mustering the nerve to ask Dr. Dre and Ice Cube about the slaying that happened during the shooting of a Straight Outta Compton trailer — about the day in January when Suge Knight turned up on the set and allegedly plowed his pickup truck over two men, including a technical adviser on the film — when the lights go out.
    We're in a photo studio in Hollywood in mid-July, a month before the release of Universal's $29 million movie telling the (mostly) true story of N.W.A, the groundbreaking hip-hop group that Dre, Cube and three other rappers — Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella — formed during the 1980s. Dre, now 50, is sitting on a comfy sofa, fussing with the cuffs of his designer jeans. Thirty years ago, he was producing N.W.A's signature song, "F— tha Police"; today, he's a headphones tycoon who lives in Tom Brady's former mansion in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Cube, now a 46-year-old comic action actor-producer (Ride Along, 21 Jump Street), is leaning against a wall, sipping a cappuccino with extra sugar. A few others are picking around the Caesar salad with grilled chicken at a snack table when suddenly — wham! — there's a loud popping sound and the place goes completely dark.

    From left: MC Ren (Aldis Hodge), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.), Eazy-E (Mitchell), Ice Cube (Jackson Jr.) and Dr. Dre (Hawkins) in 'Straight Outta Compton.'
    "What the f— just happened?" asks a voice that sounds like Dre's.
    "This is the zombie apocalypse," says another. "It's The Walking Dead: The N.W.A Edition."
    It turns out a transformer has blown on nearby Cole Street, and the whole block is without power. It will remain so for the better part of an hour. Which is how my interview with Dre and Cube and some of the actors who star in Straight Outta Compton — Corey Hawkins (who plays young Dre), O'Shea Jackson Jr. (also known as Cube's son) and Jason Mitchell (as Eazy-E) — takes place entirely in the dark. With the only flicker of light coming from Dre's gleaming Rolex, the producers and stars of the film talk thoughtfully — sometimes angrily — about the difficult 13-year journey it took for Straight Outta Compton to get to the screen. How it went through two studios, overcame decades-old feuds, underwent countless rewrites — not to mention an alleged vehicular homicide ("a really tragic incident," says Dre) — and still was filming in North Hollywood as little as three weeks ago to finally emerge intact for its Aug. 14 opening date.
    "It's crazy how we were getting criticized for this years ago," says Dre of N.W.A's provocative songs about inner-city life. "And now, it's just like, 'OK, we understand.' This movie will keep shining a light on the problem, especially because of all the situations that are happening in Ferguson and here in Los Angeles. It’s definitely going to keep this situation in people’s minds and make sure that everyone out there knows that this is a problem that keeps happening still today."

    The seminal 'Straight Outta Compton' album cover.
     
    Read More Why There's Still No Tupac Shakur Biopic  
    In 1986, it was morning in America. Ronald Reagan was in the middle of his second term. Top Gun was breaking box-office records. Bill Cosby was the most beloved TV star in the country. But in Compton, Calif., five black kids, including Andre Young (Dre), O'Shea Jackson Sr. (Cube) and Eric Wright (Eazy-E), were inventing gangsta rap in South Central clubs, creating a wholly new form of music made up of shockingly raw stories of police brutality and other urban blights. Their incendiary lyrics ("a young n—a on the warpath, and when I'm finished, it's gonna be a bloodbath of cops, dyin' in L.A.") landed N.W.A (which stands for "N—az With Attitude") on FBI watch lists, incurred the moral wrath of media crusaders like Tipper Gore and got their music banned from scores of radio stations and record stores. Still, their first album, 1988's Straight Outta Compton, managed to sell 3 million copies and go double platinum. If hip-hop had one Big Bang-like birth, an explosive moment when it first emerged as a serious, sustainable art form, this was it.
    "It was always about free speech, being able to express yourself, whether people like it or not," recalls Cube of N.W.A's early raps (the group made four albums before they broke up in 1991). "That's the great thing about being in this country, is to be able to speak your mind and not be censored."

    Clockwise from top left: N.W.A’s Dr. Dre, Laylaw from Above the Law, The D.O.C., DJ Yella, MC Ren, Eazy-E and Ice Cube posed for a photo before their performance during the Straight Outta Compton tour in Kansas City in 1989.
     
     
    Of course, a lot has changed in three decades. America has an African-American president; Cosby no longer is so beloved (nor lecturing rap stars on how to behave). Yet a lot has stayed the same. There's still police brutality and race riots; Tom Cruise is developing a Top Gun sequel. But the world has changed enough, it seems, that a major Hollywood studio could decide to spend $29 million on a film about a musical group that once rapped in favor of violence against the police and wrote songs with titles like "One Less Bitch." Somewhere between the '80s and the 2010s, N.W.A went from being public enemy No. 1 to marketable mainstream entertainment in multiplexes in every neighborhood in the country.
     
    Read More How Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Revenant' Shoot Became "A Living Hell"  

     
    'Straight Outta Compton': Exclusive Portraits of the Cast With Dr. Dre, Ice Cube
    next slide   
    "I've always been very intrigued by the [N.W.A] story," says Universal chief Donna Langley. "It was really just about finding a rational business model with which to greenlight it."
    Long before Universal was on board, one of the obstacles to a rational business model was the fact that the N.W.A members aren't always on speaking terms, let alone willing to collaborate. They've been involved in feuds upon feuds, the biggest dating back to 1996, when Dre walked away from his ownership stake in Death Row Records at the height of its ascent, leaving a reported $50 million on the table and infuriating his Death Row partner Suge Knight — bad blood that clearly lingers today. N.W.A founding member Eazy-E, who started the group's label, Ruthless Records, and controlled the rights to N.W.A's music, died in 1995 at age 31 of AIDS. He left his wife, Tomica Woods-Wright, in charge of the group's musical legacy as well as his own life rights. Anybody inter­ested in making an N.W.A movie would have to get her on board first, then the rest of the gang. ("Ultimately, I’m very pleased with the film,” says Woods-Wright, who is a producer on Compton.)

    Tipper Gore spoke at a Washington hearing aiming to put warning labels on content with explicit lyrics.
     
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    The first ones to try were a writer named Alan Wenkus and documentarian named S. Leigh Savidge. They began writing a Straight Outta Compton screenplay together in 2002, focusing mostly on Eazy-E's story, got Woods-Wright to sign on and sold it to New Line in 2006. Cube joined the project in 2007 as a producer, but wanted the character based on his life to have a bigger role in the plot (naturally). Cube hired a new writer (Andrea Berloff, who wrote Oliver Stone's World Trade Center), brought Dre aboard and turned it into a drama with three equal leads — Eazy-E, Dre and himself. (DJ Yella and MC Ren, the fourth and fifth members of the group, are in the film but only as peripheral characters.) F. Gary Gray, director of The Italian Job — and a South Central native who had been collaborating with Cube since his 1991 solo video "True to the Game" — was hired to direct. It looked for sure as if a green light was imminent.
    "I sat with Dre for hours, sometimes days, going over what happened," says Gray. " 'Tell me the story again. Tell me who was there. Tell me why this happened and what were you thinking and what was your motivation and what do you think Eazy was thinking.' I didn't want people to watch the movie and feel like they didn't learn anything beyond what they could find on Google."
    But just as it was all coming together, New Line ceased to exist as an autonomous studio. In 2008, its distribution operations were absorbed by parent company Warner Bros. And the guy who was then running Warners, Jeff Robinov, didn't want to make an N.W.A movie for more than $15 million. The prevailing wisdom at that time was that movies about African-Americans didn't play well overseas. Cube told Robinov where he could put his $15 million. "It wouldn't be worth doing," he says of New Line's budget. "We wouldn't be giving the project the justice it needs."

    Eazy-E died of AIDS in 1995.
    Warner Bros. decided it wouldn't make Straight Outta Compton at the budget Cube and Dre were envisioning. But it turned out Langley at Universal would. "I would argue that everybody knows hip-hop," says Langley, explaining why she's convinced Straight Outta Compton will fill theaters overseas as well as at home. "There probably isn't a culture in the world that doesn't engage with [rap] in some way. We were looking through that lens, as opposed to handicapping it as an 'urban' film."
    Langley put her money where her mouth was, ponying up a budget of $29 million for the R-rated film and keeping Gray on as director. But she did have a problem with the script: It wasn't edgy enough. She brought in another writer, Jonathan Herman, to do a major overhaul. Ironically, it was Herman, a 42-year-old gay Jewish scribe from Greenwich, Conn. -- seemingly a background as far as one could get from the Compton origins story -- who finally cracked the story. He spent weeks with Dre and Cube, coaxing out their memories and learning their speech patterns. Dre, for one, took the additional research in stride. "It had a great potential of being done wrong and f—ing up our legacy," he says. "Our legacy is something that's very important to me."

    Dr. Dre (left) and Ice Cube
    Filming began even before Gray had found his cast. To qualify for California tax breaks, Gray had to shoot at least one day of footage before April 2014. So he shot an interview with Cube and Dre in South Central (it plays over the film's closing credits). Of course, many hip-hop biopics cast the rappers themselves in the lead roles — Eminem in 8 Mile, 50 Cent in Get Rich or Die Tryin' — but by 2014, Dre and Cube were too old to play themselves as rising stars. Instead, Gray held a nationwide search for an unknown to play Dre; the role went to Hawkins, a classically trained Juilliard actor from Washington, D.C. But to fill the part of Cube, they didn't need to look far: "I know a lot of people thought I was just throwing him in there 'cause I could," says Cube of the casting of his 24-year-old son. "But that wasn't the case. I knew he was right for this."
    Says Jackson: "My father would call me before each scene to let me know what he was thinking. A lot of it was getting me to not act. I have so much of his mannerisms and things already in me that I wouldn't want to be onscreen doing an impersonation. You can do an impersonation or you could become the character. I really was trying to break down those acting walls and just let everything flow."

    Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., plays his rap star dad (picture here in his younger days) in the film.
    Principal photography — with actual actors, not just the producers interviewing one another — began in August 2014 in Compton. "I haven't lived in Compton for quite a while, but it felt great," says Dre, who was on the set as a producer nearly every day of the production. "Everybody was really excited about the fact that we were not only making a movie but making it in Compton. It feels like Compton is another character."
    Sometimes an unpredictable character: Although production went smoothly for the most part, there apparently was a random drive-by shooting early on in front of the set that left one civilian injured.
    One of the biggest challenges of making Straight Outta Compton, it turned out, was cramming three decades' worth of N.W.A's struggles, triumphs, infighting and eventual breakup, as well as Eazy-E's death, into a two-hour, 22-minute film. Initial cuts clocked in at more than three hours. A scene referencing Cube's sister, who was killed by her police-officer boyfriend in 1981 — a fact that adds some con­text to his anti-police lyrics — ended up on the editing-room floor. "We had to make sure we wasn't going off into those nooks and crannies," says Cube with a shrug.
    But even as important B-stories were being sliced from the final cut, it became clear to Gray and Cube and even Universal that something was missing: Test audiences were confused by Dre's big split with Knight's record company in 1996. Why did Dre leave Death Row and spark the historic, still lingering feud? It was not made clear. So, in late June, with two weeks before the movie had to be locked for its August release, Gray filmed a scene in which Dre walks into a room and witnesses Knight (played by R. Marcos Taylor, a stunt man turned actor with a strong resemblance to the real Knight) calmly smoking a cigar as he uses a vicious pit bull to terrorize a cowering man in his underwear. "I was like, 'What the f— is going on?' " recalls Dre of the actual event that inspired that last-minute scene. "I was ready to leave anyways. This was the extra push. The guy in the underwear — all this **** actually happened."

    A young Dr. Dre

    A judge recently declined to lower the $10 million bail for Knight (left) for the January slaying of a 'Straight Outta Compton' adviser near the set of a trailer for the movie. It was “a really tragic incident,” says Dre.
    As far as anyone knows, Knight never tried to get onto the set of Straight Outta Compton. But the 50-year-old rap mogul did show up during filming of a promotional trailer being shot in Compton on Jan. 29, a few months after production had wrapped on the movie. Knight was ushered away from the premises by security. But he didn't go far. A few blocks from the set, he got into a confrontation with Cle "Bone" Sloan, a technical adviser on the trailer. At one point during the argument, Knight allegedly climbed into his pickup truck, turned over the engine and deliberately ran over Sloan as well as Terry Carter, a former business associate of Cube. Sloan was hospitalized but eventually recuperated. Carter was killed at the scene.

    "I was there. But I was just leaving, so I didn't know what happened until I was halfway home," says Dre, who shares his Brentwood mansion with his wife of 19 years, Nicole Young. "I heard about it over the phone. Everybody was supportive everywhere we went, and we didn't have one issue throughout the entire filming of the movie. It's crazy that this happened during the f—ing filming of the commercial."
    Cube, who wasn't on the set, takes a more philosophical view. "It's the dangerous part of living in South Central," he says. "Some people don't care if you're making a movie or not. It's unfortunate because the movie is so good, so creative, so many talented people involved."
    Knight, who has clashed with the law many times in the past — including serving a five-year sentence for parole violations — claims he accidentally ran over the men while attempting to flee the confrontation. He's currently being held in L.A.'s Men's Central Jail, awaiting trial on murder and attempted murder charges, with the possibility of life in prison if convicted. His most recent hearing was July 17, when a judge refused to lower his bail from $10 million. His next hearing is Sept. 17. No trial date has been set.
    "It's just a really unfortunate incident," says Dre. "Maybe [Knight] was looking for trouble. I don't know."
     
    From left: Jackson will play Ice Cube, Mitchell will play Eazy-E and Hawkins will play Dr. Dre.
    The tragic episode under­scores what a delicate line Universal must walk with Straight Outta Compton. The founders of N.W.A may be respectable members of society now­­adays — indeed, one earned $500 million for selling his headphone company, Beats, to Apple, another is a movie star who has shared the screen with George Clooney and Kevin Hart — but the rap group they created 30 years ago still carries echoes from its violent past. And that past reverberates with today's headlines, from the Ferguson unrest to Eric Garner in New York to Ezell Ford in Los Angeles. "It shows that we were not only ahead of our time, but right on time," says Cube. "It’s a constant situation between the powers that be and the neighborhoods we’ve come from. And most of the time you look and you see that it’s a thing where someone is abusing their authority or abusing their power and they’re ****ting around."
    Langley agrees "there are things in the movie playing themselves out in the news today." But she's quick to point out that "the movie is not a call to arms against the police or anything like that. It's a very classic story. You fall in love with these boys. You love the characters. You're so on their side. You see that the music was born out of a frustration about their surroundings and environment."
     Asked if members of law enforcement will find the film controversial, Cube responds sarcastically, “Oh, they're gonna love it. True story. Inspired by them. I mean, why wouldn't they love it? It's what they do. They're not misrepresented. True that.”

    Ice Cube

    Dr. Dre
    Controversy or no controversy, Langley is so gung ho about the film that her studio is planning on doing something nobody in the rap world thought was possible — reuniting N.W.A for a European tour to promote the movie, with Eminem (who performs on the film's soundtrack, along with Dre and Kendrick Lamar) sitting in as an honorary member. "We don't have anything settled yet with everyone's schedules," she says. "But we think it can create a lot of buzz."
    After the lights finally flicker back on in the photo studio, Dre marvels about the past, about where he comes from and how remarkably far his music has traveled. "We were just trying to entertain our neighborhood, just us trying to be hood stars," he says. "It just became something that was much, much bigger than we ever thought, than I ever imagined."

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  1. 3cookies » JumpinJack AJ

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  2. 3cookies » JumpinJack AJ

    hey, HeY, HEY!!!...
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