Over the weekend, Oprah tweeted her praise for the film “Straight Outta Compton” to her friend, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay.
Winfrey called the film “powerful” and “eye opening rap education.” Winfrey’s compliments shocked those who are familiar with her disapproval of hip-hop and hip-hop culture.
The biopic has received praise from those who’ve seen early screenings of the film, which follows the members of N.W.A from their lowly beginnings in Compton, California to legends of hip-hop.
The question of whether or not Oprah likes hip-hop arose in the early 2000’s after Ludacris and Ice Cube alleged that they were mistreated by her. MTV reported that Luda said some of his comments about hip-hop lyrics were unfairly edited out of Oprah’s show when he appeared as a guest in late in 2004 to promote “Crash.” Ice Cube says Winfrey insulted him several years prior after inviting the cast of “Barbershop” on her program but excluding him.
“Maybe she’s got a problem with hip-hop,” Ice Cube told FHM magazine. “She’s had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I’m not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?”
50 Cent also publicly dissed Oprah, saying she doesn’t make efforts to appeal to hip-hop fans. However, in a 2006 interview, Oprah said. “I feel rap is a form of expression, as is jazz. I’m not opposed to rap. I’m opposed to being marginalized as a woman.”
To promote the movie, Beats by Dre set up a website so that fans could make their own hip-hop-inspired album covers. DuVernay posted a tribute to her childhood growing up in Compton. The director spoke briefly about her life in Compton to Rolling Stone, saying: “There are no independent movie houses in communities of color in this country,” she said.
“Straight Outta Compton” arrives in theaters August 14.