N.W.A biopic ‘Straight Outta Compton’ casts its MC Ren, DJ Yella

Aldis Hodge will play MC Ren in the N.W.A biopic "Straight Outta Compton."
(Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

“Straight Outta Compton,” Universal’s biopic chronicling the rise of the groundbreaking gangsta-rap group N.W.A, has cast Aldis Hodge as MC Ren and Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella, the studio announced Tuesday.

The two join previously announced cast members O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube (playing his real-life father), Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E.

F. Gary Gray (“Friday,” “The Italian Job”) is directing the long-gestating film, which is being produced by Cube, Dre, Tomica Woods-Wright (Eazy-E’s widow) and Matt Alvarez (“Ride Along”).

Set for release Aug. 14, 2015, “Straight Outta Compton” takes its name from N.W.A’s debut album, which burst onto the music scene in 1988 with a controversial but undeniably compelling view of the violence and brutality of gang-ridden South Los Angeles.


The album earned N.W.A a reputation as “the world’s most dangerous group” while setting the template for West Coast hip-hop for years to come. It sold more than 3 million copies and was certified double platinum in 1992.

Hodge’s film credits include 2013’s “The East” and “A Good Day to Die Hard,” and he will be a regular on the Amazon series “The After.” Brown appeared in 2011’s “Battle Los Angeles” and 2009’s “Fast & Furious,” and also played Guillermo on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

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