The studio behind the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is trying to reunite the legendary rap group for a European tour to tie in with the movie – and wants Eminem on board. Studio chief Donna Langley told the Hollywood Reporter: “We don’t have anything settled yet with everyone’s schedules, but we think it can create a lot of buzz.”
The group are missing an original member – Eazy E, who died of complications caused by Aids in 1995 – and it is not clear if Eminem, who appears on the movie’s soundtrack, would be a direct replacement. That is, of course, if the tour is a genuine plan, and not just promotional hot air. If it were to happen, given that last year Eminem became the first rapper to headline Wembley Stadium, the combination of one of the world’s most famous rap groups and one of its biggest individual stars would be one of the most in-demand tickets in rap history. DJ Yella, Dr Dre, Ice Cube and MC Ren are all still alive.
In the Hollywood Reporter piece, Dr Dre spoke briefly about the Suge Knight case, which has seen the former Death Row Records mogul charged with murder, after Heavyweight Records co-founder Terry Carter was run over and killed in a burger stand parking lot after Knight attempted to visit the set.
“I was there. But I was just leaving, so I didn’t know what happened until I was halfway home,” Dre said. “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 fucking filming of the commercial.” He added: “It’s just a really unfortunate incident. Maybe [Knight] was looking for trouble. I don’t know.”
Ice Cube said: “It’s the dangerous part of living in South Central. 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.”
Dr Dre and Suge Knight had a long-running feud after the producer cut his ties to Death Row in 1996. Movie test screenings showed audiences didn’t understand why this had happened, so a scene was added in which Dre walks into a room to see Knight using a pitbull to menace a man in his underwear. “I was like, ‘What the fuck is going on?’” Dre told the Hollywood Reporter. “I was ready to leave anyways. This was the extra push. The guy in the underwear — all this shit actually happened.”
Straight Outta Compton is due for release in the US on 14 August, Europe and the UK on 27/28 August.