Straight Outta Compton

By Ethan Robinson

We all know that summer is the perfect season for our favorite blockbuster films. And this summer, perhaps one of the most anticipated movies to hit the box office was Straight Outta Compton, directed by F. Gary Gray.

Released on Aug. 18, Straight Outta Compton did well its opening weekend, raking in more than $56 million. As of Sept. 11, the movie still goes strong with a gross income of over $155 million. Most ratings remain slightly above average. Why, you ask?

Titled after the debut album of the controversial gangsta rap group, “N.W.A”, the film follows the somewhat notorious group’s formation, ambition and ultimate division as rappers feud for credit and ego, while surrounded by a storm of social upheaval.

But even though the film portrays infamous and dramatic figures, that does not guarantee that it will also try to be the source of drama. In fact, Straight Outta Compton does a great job at stating the facts and being a neutral carrier through events. But sometimes so much so, that it fears stepping on too many toes, and thus appears sanitized and watered down. Who wants to tarnish the egos of stars such as Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who are popular even now?

So, to properly decide whether this film does its job or not, we will be looking at what really happened to the real “N.W.A”, versus how it is shown on film.

In the beginning, Straight Outta Compton does well in helping us relate to “N.W.A” and its environment. Police brutality and racial profiling are shown to be harsh struggles in the daily lives of both a young black man and also as a member of “N.W.A”, speaking out against issues that otherwise Compton minorities would have been unable to voice. In this respect, the movie is true to real events, and in doing so, provides support for the “N.W.A” anti-police ethos. Though even this conflict wanes in comparison to the internal black-on-black crime that is later shown in the film.

Ice Cube really did leave “N.W.A” over royalty issues, claiming to have deserved more credit for writing about half of the album’s lyrics. Following this “betrayal”, as “N.W.A”’s Eazy-E called it, Ice Cube and his old creed had a feud lasting for years, with insults and disses often lyrically told in both of their musical releases.

The film portrays this conflict well, but seldom does it linger upon the nastiness and sometimes threatening brutality in the insults presented. For instance,  Ice Cube is known to have used multiple anti-semitic and homophobic slurs in his lyrics, intended for “N.W.A”’s manager, but hardly is it given enough attention in the film.

Dr. Dre, on the “N.W.A” side, was once angered by TV host Dee Barnes over a question regarding the Ice Cube conflict, resulting in him bashing the side of her face and torso against a wall. Dre was charged with community service and a $2,500 fine. Is this mentioned in the movie? No, it is not.

Straight Outta Compton tries to tell a good story, while using only a fraction of the reality’s ugliness to make it pleasing to Hollywood standards. It is sanitized and displayed in a slightly rose-colored lens, even to the end, where no clear verdict is placed upon the aggressors. You do not leave the theater with a message of “N.W.A” being good or bad, or whether they glorify gangster lifestyle or not. That is left to your own interpretation. But is the movie necessarily good enough for that choice in conclusion? Who can say.

Nonetheless, you will soon find out that Straight Outta Compton was not only the teller of past violent acts, but also the indirect cause of one. Suge Knight, former CEO of Death Row Records, was reported to have driven off after an argument on the Straight Outta Compton set, killing one and injuring another during an intentional hit-and-run. The first, co-founder of Heavyweight Records, Terry Carter, was killed, while the other, filmmaker Cle Sloan, was severely injured. No more details are known of this violent act in relation to the film.

On the bright side, Straight Outta Compton has done some good in causing the fans and viewers to expect answers from the controversial figures that still live to this day. Suge Knight, the CEO and killer previously spoken of, is now facing a $2 million bail behind bars, and Dr. Dre has now addressed his own faults in an interview with The New York Times. Dre pleaded, “25 years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did.”

You gotta hand it to them, some progress has been made in the world, to balance the work of an average movie. Despite the racial violence, which still rages on.

3.5/5 paws

Kinzi’s Frenzy

 By Kinzi Kaiser

The fine arts have always been on the chopping block for funding; they have always been put behind sports.
Some schools don’t even fund many sports. Students need different ways to express themselves however they choose.

Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with sports, I too enjoy them. I fully believe in the funding of all school activities. I’m just trying to state why they should be considered of equal importance.

With sports, once a person reaches a certain age, they’re out of the game. However, music and art will stay with a person for as long as they live.

The fine arts are a huge part of our history and our modern culture. Why would schools consider cutting such an important part of life out of the curriculum, yet fund the sports?

Music and art are used as therapy. They are the best ways to show emotion and relieve stress. They have endless ways to express any emotion.

Fine arts are of equal importance with sports. It is not fair when athletic teens get scholarships for their abilities, but students of the fine arts don’t get that chance because they are not funded within their school.

More students find careers that use skills learned in art and music than sports. I don’t understand how schools could just disregard the future career choices of their pupils.

It is very important to fund all activities in high schools. Activities will stick with students in their futures and are extremely important to character and social aspect. Everyone needs to fight for all activities to stay funded in schools, especially the fine arts.

 

Scholarship Opportunities

By Sydney Goldenstein

Are you planning on going to college but worried about money? Senior class of 2016, consider the following scholarships.

Daniels Scholarship Program is a scholarship that not only helps students earn a degree, but also prepares them for success after college. According to its website, the program provides a four-year annually-renewable college scholarship for graduating high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership and are committed to serving their communities.

Daniels scholars are selected because they represent principles including strength of character, leadership potential, academic performance or promise, willingness to give back to the community and a well-rounded personality. In addition, there are a number of specific requirements to be met in order to be eligible for the Daniels Scholarship.

Students must satisfy the following requirements at the time of application: be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; be a resident of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah or Wyoming; earn ACT scores of at least 17 in each category or an SAT score of at least 400  and critical reading score of at least 440; demonstrate financial need.

The Boettcher Scholarship program was created to support Colorado’s top students by providing them with Colorado scholarships to attain an excellent in-state education, according to the Boettcher Foundation.

What is included in the Boettcher Scholarship? Full tuition and fees (eligible colleges are listed on the website), book allowance, campus enrichment programming, scholar grants, annual events and more.

These scholarships are much more than just a check for college; they are programs to help students succeed in college and beyond. Seniors can apply for the Daniels Fund until Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. The Boettcher Scholarship forms and materials must be posted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 1 of your senior year. For more information and application(s), visit danielsfund.org and boettcherfoundation.org.

Kickin’ It With Katlyn

By Katlyn LaPorte

In high school, mental health is very important. If a high school student isn’t mentally healthy, their high school life can become very difficult.

There are many different types of mental illnesses, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), anxiety, depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), substance abuse, addiction and schizophrenia. These are just a few of the mental illnesses, but they should be considered just as serious as other types of illnesses.

According to nami.org, of all children and teens aged nine to 17, 21 percent have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder. That is unacceptable. Kids and teens should be focusing on having fun and living life to the fullest while they are young. It is so sad that they have to battle these mental illnesses in addition to the normal stresses of teenage life.

Just sitting in class with the other students in school, it is almost impossible to tell who is battling what kind of problems. The boy or girl who seems happiest may be the one facing the biggest struggles. This is why I personally believe a person should never judge one another before getting to know them.

Mental illnesses can also affect grades and behavior in school. Approximately 50 percent of students age 14 and older who are living with a mental illness drop out of high school. Some of the smartest people I’ve ever met are facing a mental illness or dealing with addiction and it takes a deep toll on their school work.

Without that high school diploma or college degree, those students may not get any opportunities in the future, when in all reality, they could be the ones to someday cure cancer or walk on Mars.

Mental illnesses that go untreated can have serious consequences, such as suicide or self-harm. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 14-24. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDs, birth defects, strokes and flu combined.

Losing someone in my own class to suicide really opened up my eyes to how serious it really is. The death of just one student definitely changed my small class forever.

There are many negative effects of mental illness. It is very important to not only have good mental health in high school, but also throughout life.

The Tops of the Summer Infographic

By Ethan Robinson

Forbes.com

Top Movies

  1. Jurassic World (639.5)
  2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (458)
  3. Inside Out (350)
  4. Minions (335)
  5. Pitch Perfect (183.7)

 

The Rolling Stone

Top TV Shows

  1. Broad City (Comedy Central)
  2. Veep (HBO)
  3. The Americans (FX)
  4. Mad Men (AMC)
  5. The Late Show By David Letterman (CBS)

 

Billboard.com

Top Songs

  1. Cheerleader (OMI)
  2. See You Again (Wiz Khalifa Ft. Charlie Puth)
  3. Bad Blood (Taylor Swift)
  4. Trap Queen (Fetty Wap)
  5. Watch Me (Silento)

 

 

History.com

This day in history….  

George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol Building, which would take more than a century to complete.

Also, Fidel Castro arrived in New York City in 1960 as head of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations. In recent news, Pope Francis has expressed interest in meeting the now 89 year old Fidel Castro on his trip to Havana.