Just days after Ice Cube announced that an N.W.A reunion (well, most of a reunion) would land at the BET Experience festival, one member of the group is lambasting the major, soon-to-be-released biopic about the pioneering hip-hop act.
MC Ren, a founding rapper and writer in the group, brought out the long knives Wednesday in his criticism of the official trailer for “Straight Outta Compton,” in which Dr. Dre and Ice Cube get substantially (and almost exclusively) more billing than the rest of the group, which also included Ren, DJ Yella and Eazy-E. The trailer was released April 1.
“When you have ... work on a hip hop film that don’t know ... about hip hop this is what happens. How the hell u leave me out after all,” he wrote. “The work I put into them records. It’s disrespectful to me, my family and most of all my FANS.”
Ren, also known as Lorenzo Patterson, was far from a marginal figure in the quintet’s history. The “Straight Outta Compton” credits list him as a writer or co-writer on seven of the film’s 10 songs. Earlier this week, he retweeted news of the quasi-N.W.A reunion, which will feature only Ice Cube, Ren and DJ Yella.
Representatives at Universal Pictures did not immediately return requests for comment about Ren’s displeasure with the trailer.
The rollout for the film has had plenty of trouble. Suge Knight, the Death Row Records founder and once feared, now faded hip-hop mogul, has been charged with murder after authorities said he ran over two men on the set of a promotional shoot for the film. Last week, the widow of one of the victims, Terry Carter, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit that names Knight, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre as defendants.
“Straight Outta Compton” is due in theaters on Aug. 14.