It's not a fluke, an aberration or something that nostalgic hip-hop heads supported in flocks just because they were curious to see how one of the founding groups of hip-hop was portrayed on the big screen.
That the film Straight Outta Compton is the No. 1 movie at the box office for the third week in a row, according to the Los Angeles Times, and is now the highest-grossing musical biopic ever, means that the film is good. Word of mouth is what's keeping this movie at the top of the charts. Folks are gabbing about the phenomenal script, the great cast and how eerie—yet appropriate—it is that the movie is touching on some of the same social issues that are impacting working-class communities today.
An executive at Universal, the film's distributor, touched on how surprised he is by the movie's success. "A movie like this is difficult to comp, and we are out there with great hopes every day, and we are pleasantly surprised by the results," Nick Carpou, Universal's head of domestic distribution, told the Times. "I think in this environment in the middle of August, it became even more noteworthy because it wasn't a default movie to go see; it was a reason to go to the movies."
In the following panel discussion, Ice Cube also touched on why he felt the film would resonate with different kinds of audiences. The themes at work in it—the David-and-Goliath element, the rags-to-riches story arc, and the real-life social revolution that the group sparked with tracks like "F—k tha Police"—is something a lot of people can relate to.
The movie has an African-American ensemble cast and was directed by one of the greatest directors of all time: F. Gary Gray. Here's to hoping that Straight Outta Compton does a four-peat.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.