Rolling Stone’s news issue will hit stands tomorrow, the same day that the highly-anticipated N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” premieres in theaters nationwide. Its cover stars, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, may have thought that this story would focus exclusively on their creative legacy, the new movie, and Dre’s album “Compton: A Soundtrack.”
Although those questions figure into the story, far more interesting were the duo’s responses to resurfaced controversies about their past misogyny, especially with regards to incidents where Dr. Dre beat journalist Dee Barnes over an interview with Ice Cube (when Cube had departed and their relationship was acrimonious) and allegedly abused ex-girlfriend Michel’le—allegations that took on a new relevance given that “Compton: A Soundtrack” featured both a rape reference from Eminem and a skit where Dre and accomplices murder and bury a woman. Dre admitted some complicity, while being evasive about exactly where his fault lay:
I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life. 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.
Elsewhere in the interview, however, Cube casually dismisses the group’s misogynistic lyrics and behavior, saying that they weren’t calling out all women:
If you’re a bitch, you’re probably not going to like us. If you’re a ho, you probably don’t like us. If you’re not a ho or a bitch, don’t be jumping to the defense of these despicable females. Just like I shouldn’t be jumping to the defense of no punks or no cowards or no slimy son of a bitches that’s men. I never understood why an upstanding lady would even think we’re talking about her.
Cube also describes “Straight Outta Compton,” which stars his son as the younger Cube, as providing important structural context for their music:
You had to see why we did the music. You know, not just ‘we were young, angry niggas out of South Central,’ but why did we make those kind of records? We were living in the middle of dope dealing, gangbanging, police brutality, fucking Reaganomics, and there was nowhere to escape.”
You can read quotes from the interview and see a short video feautring the film’s stars (including Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr.) at RollingStone.com. The full story and issue is available on newstands and for download tomorrow.