The huge success of NWA's big screen theatrical hit Straight Outta Compton was marred by the criticism of erasure. Lifetime's biopic, Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le, is trying to set the record straight.
The movie will focus on the R&B singer Michel'le's rise to fame (and subsequent disappearance) that came about because of her ex-fianceè (and father of her child) Dr. Dre of NWA. What was so effortlessly forgotten by the creators of the movie - and their advisers who lived through it together - was the important role that Michel'le played in all of their careers throughout Michel'le and Dre's 6-year relationship from 1990-1996.
Essentially, she was the first to pop off from the crew before everyone else. Straight Outta Compton completely dismissed their relationship and the dark reality of Dr. Dre's abusive and destructive behavior at the time; she received broken noses, black eyes, and even broken ribs. Instead of including her part of the story, she's barely in the movie at all. And she's not the only one he abused. Hip hop journalist Dee Barnes was also vocal about the abuse she suffered at his hands.
Since the movie and criticism came to light, Dr. Dre has openly admitted to the allegations - though not all, without specifying much. Still, he offered some sort of an apology, sans the respect of naming the victims.
"I made some f*cking horrible mistakes in my life," Dr. Dre told Rolling Stone. "I was young, f*cking stupid. I would say all the allegations aren't true — some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really f*cked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there's no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again." He ended up apologizing "to the women I’ve hurt" in a statement to The New York Times as well.
Michel'le says she never asked for an apology in the first place, while Barnes has taken to accepting it for what it is. Dee Barnes was one horrific incident (that was also well documented at the time). Michel'le represents a complete erasure of history and legacy, not to mention years of abuse.
"When he gave me my very first black eye, we laid in the bed and cried," she said on The Breakfast Club. "He was crying and I was crying because I was in shock, hurt and in pain. I don’t know why he was crying, but he said 'I’m really sorry.' That was the only time he ever said he was really sorry. And he said, 'I’ll never hit you in that eye again, okay?'" She said that he did keep the promise, hitting her in other places instead. "I have scars that are just amazing."
"This [violence] wasn't told in the story because it shouldn't have been, because it's their story," Michel'le said. "And this is my story."
The trailer looks delicious and I can't wait. Take that, patriarchy! Watch below.
[Photo: Lifetime Network]