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Straight Outta Compton is doing huge numbers in the box office, and it’s been getting some amazing reviews from fans, critics, and first-time N.W.A. listeners.

The rap group’s biopic has been bringing out high emotions all over, but more so from those who were involved in the history of N.W.A.’s members.

Former hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes was put in the middle of the feud between Ice Cube and the rest of the group after his departure, as her interview with the MC on Pump It Up! showed him dissing them.

After the interview was aired, Dr. Dre addressed Barnes in Po Na Na Souk​ nightclub in January of 1991, where he brutally assaulted her, believing she was making the group look stupid.

Fast forward to today, after seeing the biopic, Barnes has penned an open essay via Gawker on the film, and calls out N.W.A. for not including the case in the movie.

Read some of the highlights of the essay below:

On not being portrayed in the N.W.A. movie:

That event isn’t depicted in Straight Outta Compton, but I don’t think it should have been, either. The truth is too ugly for a general audience. I didn’t want to see a depiction of me getting beat up, just like I didn’t want to see a depiction of Dre beating up Michel’le, his one-time girlfriend who recently summed up their relationship this way: “I was just a quiet girlfriend who got beat on and told to sit down and shut up.”

On the alleged beating by Dre:

It was so caustic that when Dre was trying to choke me on the floor of the women’s room in Po Na Na Souk, a thought flashed through my head: “Oh my god. He’s trying to kill me.” He had me trapped in that bathroom; he held the door closed with his leg. It was surreal. “Is this happening?” I thought.

On believing she has been blacklisted since the incident:

People ask me, “How come you’re not on TV anymore?” and “How come you’re not back on television?” It’s not like I haven’t tried. I was blacklisted. Nobody wants to work with me. They don’t want to affect their relationship with Dre. I’ve been told directly and indirectly, “I can’t work with you.” I auditioned for the part that eventually went to Kimberly Elise in Set It Off. Gary was the director. This was long after Pump it Up!, and I nailed the audition. Gary came out and said, “I can’t give you the part.” I asked him why, and he said, “‘Cause I’m casting Dre as Black Sam.” My heart didn’t sink, I didn’t get emotional; I was just numb.

On the interview with Ice Cube turning aggressive:

Cube went into a trailer to talk to Gary andPump It Up! producer Jeff Shore. I saw as he exited that Cube’s mood had changed. Either they told him something or showed him the N.W.A. footage we had shot a few weeks earlier. What ended up airing was squeaky clean compared to the raw footage. N.W.A. were chewing Cube up and spitting him out. I was trying to do a serious interview and they were just clowning—talking shit, cursing. It was crazy. Right after we shot a now-angry Cube and they shouted, “Cut!” one of the producers said, “We’re going to put that in.” I said, “Hell no.” I wasn’t even thinking about being attacked at the time, I was just afraid that they were going to shoot each other. I didn’t want to be part of that.

On her present days of trying to find work in the industry:

Most recently, I tried to get a job at Revolt. I’ve known Sean (Combs) for years and have the utmost respect for him. Still nothing. Instead of doing journalism, I’ve had a series of 9-5 jobs over the years to make ends meet.

On the most difficult scenes to watch in Straight Outta Compton:

There were two things that made me emotional while watching Straight Outta Compton. The first was the scene where D.O.C. is in the hospital after a car accident that nearly decapitated him. I went to see him then, and I was devastated. I thought he was going to die. I saw him fresh, when he was hooked up to life support and had blood and cuts still visible.

I am so grateful I had the opportunity to make peace with him [Eazy E] before he passed. We hugged, we kissed, we talked, and I felt good when I saw him, but I knew something was wrong. He didn’t look well. I thought maybe he just had a cold. He wasn’t coughing, the way it was dramatized in the movie. He sounded congested and he looked skinny. We had a nice conversation and I felt really good about it.

To read the full essay from Dee Barnes, head over to Gawker.


Dee Barnes Pens Open Essay Calling Out ‘Straight Outta Compton’ & Explains Dr. Dre Incident  was originally published on