Nathan bowen research document
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nathan bowen research document
Nathan Bowen Research Document Textual analysis N.W.A – Straight Outta ComptonThe music video begins with amid shot of Dr Dre, one of themembers of N.W.A, crouchedbehind a flame coming from abarrel and he says “you are nowabout to witness the strength ofstreet knowledge” whilst apolice car siren wails in thebackground, he is dressed in ablack baseball cap and a blackjacket. This is a goodintroduction to the video as theflame from the barrel and thepolice siren are both thingsassociate with poverty in the ghettos of places like the U.S.A and what Dr Dre saysshows the viewer that this song is going to be about the streets. This introduction bothvisually and audibly makes the listener aware this is a Hip Hop genre song about thestreets.The beat then kicks in with a low long shot of a large group of N.W.A members walkingthrough the ghetto, moving then to various shots like close ups of their feet, a car drivingthrough the streets, which gives the audience an idea of who N.W.A are and the area theyare in, there is then a shot of a sign with Compton written on it again showing theaudience that this area is Compton. The first performer then appears in similar clothes tothat of Dr Dre in the beginning, with a black baseball cap and black jacket perhapsshowing the audience that these are their colours, he then goes on to say “straight out ofCompton” which backs up the title of the song and then “here’s a crazy brother named icecube” introducing himself to the audience so they know who is rapping.
Whilst ice cube is rapping there are various mid shots and long shots of him walkingthrough parts of Compton and close ups of police holding batons, guns and a map of thearea of Compton, most of ice cubes lyrics refer to violence and fighting in Compton, thepolice shots seem to show them suiting up and going into Compton, this shows Comptonas a sort of war zone and also the shots of ice cube usually involve having his friendsbehind him pushing over fences and kicking barrels, this could show that the two areseparate feuding groups and have conflict with one another. Ice cube and his friend arealso all African American and the police are Caucasian this could be a political statementof the segregation of people in America because of their race as the African Americanmen fighting the Caucasian police.Their then continue to be more shots of the slums of Compton and then a new member isintroduced again with a similar starting slogan of “tell em where you from, straight outtaCompton, a brother with his finger on the trigger” again referring to the title of the songand the general feel of violence of Compton in the song. They stick with the general styleof mid shots of him walking down parts of Compton rapping however he is wearing agrey jumper but has got the black baseball cap that the others seem to all have maybebeing a gang item, there are then more shots of the police in their cars searching for themeventually finding the N.W.A group and chasing them with guns drawn, arresting themall and putting them in the back of police truck. This backs up the image of it being a warin Compton between the police and the residents of the area especially seeing the policein vast numbers with guns hunting the members of N.W.A down.
The last performing member of this song is then introduced after most of the N.W.A havebeen arrested and he too starts with “straight outta Compton” this artist is quite youngand does have the black baseball cap this could be to show how young the kids start toget involved in this war in Compton and how serious an issue it is this violence. Hisperformance also is mainly low mid shots of him walking through Compton rapping andalso him in a car rapping to the driver of the police truck with the captured N.W.Amembers inside, as if he is trying to provoke the police.The video ends with a few shots of signs with Compton written on them and the policetruck carrying the N.W.A members, also the N.W.A members walking down the road andthrowing rocks at the police cars, finally finishing with a mid shot of Dr Dre and the restof N.W.A and Dr Dre saying “that’s the way it goes in the city of Compton boy”. Thevideo does well to match the tone and lyrics off the song representing Compton as a warzone where the way of life is violence and being arrested by the police for many youngAfrican Americans, it can be seen a s more than Rap video but an insight into how thingsare in Compton LA and how they need to be changed.