The makers of "Straight Outta Compton," the forthcoming biopic about the pioneering 1980s rap act N.W.A, have released a timely trailer for the film. The clip features an introduction by members of the California gangster rap group, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, in which the two make references to protests sparked by the police killings of unarmed black men last year. “What a lot of people don’t realize about N.W.A is nonviolent protest,” Ice Cube says in the trailer posted to YouTube on Sunday. “The same thing that we was going through in the '80s with the police, people going through right now.”
Release of the clip came as protesters on Monday marked six months since Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Some accounts of the incident have the unarmed Brown raising his hands in surrender before Wilson shot him multiple times. When a grand jury in November decided against charging Wilson for Brown’s death, several weeks of anti-police protests erupted nationwide. In addition to “hands up, don’t shoot,” another refrain chanted by protesters was the title of N.W.A’s controversial 1988 song "F--- tha Police."
The "Straight Outta Compton" movie trailer shows how the song became an anthem following the videotaped beating of Rodney King. It is widely believed that the acquittal of several Los Angeles Police Department officers in King’s beating contributed to riots there in 1992 and united the Bloods and Crips gangs against law enforcement, according to a Rolling Stone report. A censored version of the trailer aired during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards. During the ceremony, recording artists Beyonce, John Legend and Common paid tribute to the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic “Selma” and made references to Brown, as well as the chokehold death of Eric Garner by police in New York last year.
The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Aug. 14. The introduction featuring Dr. Dre and Ice Cube was filmed on the same day that rap mogul Suge Knight, who was visiting the shoot, allegedly killed a man in a hit-and-run incident.