Since the release of N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, many have questioned the absence of Dr. Dre’s history of misogyny and abuse towards former girlfriends and women in the industry. During the ensuing discussion, the entrepreneur expressed regret for his mistakes.
In a cover story for Rolling Stone, the legendary producer doesn’t give an explanation as to why fights with journalist Dee Barnes, Ruthless Records female rapper Tairrie B, and mother of his first child Michel’le weren’t addressed in the film. Instead, Dre acknowledges the abuse, admitting he’s made some mistakes.
“I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life,” says Dre. “I was young, fucking stupid. I would say all the allegations aren’t true – some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.”
Paying for those mistakes might not be enough for Barnes. In an op-ed for Gawker, the writer says she’s pleased there wasn’t an actress depicting her getting beat up and thrown down the stairs in the 1991 encounter, but wishes there was some mention of it. She also says the female voices of Ruthless Records were ignored in the film. Although the movie was about the success of N.W.A, the careers of Michel’le, Tairrie B, and “Supersonic” group JJ Fad also helped Eazy-E’s label reach mainstream status. Barnes wrote:
“I believe that if Eazy were alive, neither Tairrie B., nor JJ Fad wouldn’t have been ignored in the movie. Eazy was the straight shooter of the group and he just would have kept it more real. JJ Fad was a trio of female rappers from Rialto, California, whose debut album was released by Ruthless in order to establish and legitimize the label. It was commercially successful and featured the mega hit “Supersonic,” produced by Arabian Prince, who appears only briefly in Straight Outta Compton. JJ Fad’s success paved the way for the release of the Straight Outta Compton album. It’s a very pivotal moment that was erased from N.W.A.’s story. It’s easy for them to be dismissive of women, because they don’t respect most women.”
Barnes said she was able to make peace with Eazy a few months before he passed away. As for Dre, she’s seen him a handful of times since their incident and the two remain cordial.
“He should have owned up to the black eyes and scars he gave to his collaborator Michel’le. And he should have owned up to what he did to me. That’s reality. That’s reality rap. In his lyrics, Dre made hyperbolic claims about all these heinous things he did to women. But then he went out and actually violated women.”
Michel’le opened up to VladTV on Monday and shared the same sentiments about the movie. In the film, JJ Fad and Michel’le are briefly addressed, and the R&B Divas star prefers it that way.
“Why would Dre put me in it?” says Michel’le in that duh tone of voice. “I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up.” This is followed by an uncomfortable silence. “My part has no value to, probably, what they really want to talk about,” she says, “unless they want to talk.”
In several interviews, Ice Cube and director F. Gary Gray said the original cut shows a longer film, which was nearly three hours. Could that version have included more of the female perspective?