I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again…I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.” – Dr. Dre, apologizing for the physical abuse he inflicted upon numerous women
How convenient that Dr. Dre would finally make a statement, now that his prior history of being physically violent towards women began taking away from Dre’s glowing aura of feeling himself with the release of Straight Outta Compton. This PR cleanup is to be expected, given the film’s huge success, and the internet’s major role in leaving no secret untold, and no legend untarnished.
When singer Michel’le, spoke sarcastically about her omission in the movie, it was a clear jab at the importance that such an experience would contribute to the music. I find it disturbing that violence of the domestic kind could be completely omitted from the film, and that music fans would deem that as entirely acceptable. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so sad, considering that abuse against women, along with guns and drugs, was and continues to be, without a doubt, part of those young men’s lives.
The fact that women are constantly subjugated in the music of N.W.A. should give anyone with ears and a brain a clear understanding of these rappers’ apathy towards women. For anyone to dismiss the Dre’s violence against women as having nothing to do with the music, is entirely delusional. In fact, any trace of the violence was omitted from the movie because the movie “wasn’t about a lot of side stories” (sigh, in the words of the film’s director Gary Gray).
Fans have taken up for the members of N.W.A, labeling Dee Barnes, Michel’le, and Tairrie B as whores, attention-seekers, and money grubbers. A quick glance at the comments section of the videos detailing the accusations of violence place these women as useless in the grander picture of their beloved idols, their stories invalidated because of their lack of money and importance in the realm of celebrity importance. It’s eerily similar to the attacks against Bill Cosby’s rape victims; an inconvenient truth that rears it’s ugly head when the reputation of the subject of the accusations becomes less than legendary.
This has to stop. And it will stop when hip hop stops promoting the rape and violence culture against women. It stops when fans stop making excuses for their favorite artists when they exhibit bad behavior against women in our communities. And it stops when we stop shaming these victims of violence and let their stories be heard.