As the hippies and the punks did before them, rappers have now entered a period of self-mythologizing. That’s evident in the official trailer for Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. biopic due out this summer. The trailer is red band, of course, as it’s impossible to say the full name of the group or one of its most popular songs—the performance of which during the 1992 L.A. riots factors heavily into the trailer—out loud without uttering words that send the MPAA into hysterics. The cast is composed of mostly unknowns cast for their resemblance to the members of N.W.A., along with Paul Giamatti, who could retire quite comfortably playing nothing but sleazy record producers for the rest of his career.
The theme of pushing boundaries runs throughout, as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella struggle to share their vision with a world that doesn’t understand that they simply reflect, not cause, the circumstances from which they came. Those circumstances include violence between the people of Compton and the police, a plot point that makes Straight Outta Compton more politically relevant than a biopic about a rap group that broke up two decades ago would be in a perfect world. But not everything is as it was in the ’90s, as newly-minted billionaire Dr. Dre and his ex-bandmate/family film star Ice Cube ride through their old neighborhood soaking up accolades in a black-and-white segment that wouldn’t be out of place at the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum. Straight Outta Compton hits theaters on August 14, 2015 .