The Stars of 'Straight Outta Compton' Share the Songs That Helped Get Them Into Character as N.W.A

Straight Outta Compton is a biopic, but also a trip to another era for viewers: rap's golden age, the late 1980's and early '90s. To accurately portray the life and times of N.W.A, some of hip-hop's most iconic MCs, the film's cast had to fully embody the look and sound of that period -- and that meant something of an L.A.-specific musical education.

Billboard Cover: Kendrick Lamar Interviews N.W.A About Coming 'Straight Outta Compton' and Changing the World

The film's director, F. Gary Gray, gave the actors -- including Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. playing his father, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella and Aldis Hodge as MC Ren -- a thumb drive filled sounds of the period, from N.W.A's "Express Yourself" to (much to Dre's derision) Billy Ocean.

Watch the cast discuss with Ice Cube and Dre how listening to music from the era "gave us fuel for our fire" above and see N.W.A's full interview with Kendrick Lamar below. And read Billboard's full N.W.A cover story here.





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