Since its release, Straight Outta Compton has owned the box office and the film’s stars have every reason to be celebrating.
Ice Cube‘s son, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., received great reviews for the portrayal of his father, while Jason Mitchell‘s rise from the streets to the big screen as Eazy-E is probably the most inspirational thing you’ll read all week. The pressure that comes with portraying one of the most controversial rap groups in history is hard to imagine, but these guys executed it perfectly.
Although some of the biopic’s success can simply be attributed to pop culture’s current obsession with all things hip-hop, there’s no doubt that the fresh faces on-screen delivered, and we’ve taken notice.
After an introduction like this, we hope to be seeing more from these men in the future. Keep scrolling for the 411 on Straight Outta Compton‘s breakout stars.
Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E)
Before making it big in Straight Outta Compton, Mitchell was simply hoping to stay out of trouble on the streets of New Orleans. After a few run-ins with the law while hanging with the wrong crowd, his family lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and Mitchell was inspired to lead a better life. Following the storm, Mitchell worked in construction before landing a job as an oyster chef. Finally, he enrolled in acting classes. Prior to his role as Eazy-E, the 28-year-old took on small roles in films such as Texas Killing Fields and Contraband alongside Mark Wahlberg.
O’Shea Jackson, Jr. (Ice Cube)
Far from being handed the part of Ice Cube, O’Shea Jackson Jr. went through a two-year process before he was awarded the honor of portraying his father in the biopic. He’s performed music under the stage name OMG, but after witnessing the impact Ice Cube has had in hip-hop culture, Jackson knew he wanted to follow in his dad’s film footsteps. He studied screenwriting at USC and hopes his debut role in Straight Outta Compton will open the door for future roles.
Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre)
Before he was performing “F*ck Tha Police” as Dre in Straight Outta Compton, Corey Hawkins revealed he was once stopped and frisked while growing up in New York. During an interview with HuffPost Live, Hawkins shared:
“I live in New York. I walk down the street and I see my brothers being stopped and frisked, and I specifically remember being stopped and frisked [while] taking the trash from my apartment door to the trash can. I just remember the frustration and the anger and sort of feeling a little confused and lost.”
As the son of a police officer, Hawkins claims to understand both sides of the police brutality issue. Since graduating from the Juilliard School, he’s appeared on Broadway in Romeo and Juliet, as well as nabbed roles on The Walking Dead and Iron Man 3.