With the rousing success of director F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. biopic which has held onto the number one box office spot for over two weeks and has earned well over $100 million dollars in that time, it appears everyone has been hopping aboard this largely profitable train. There have been rumors, based on a large push from fans, for a film concerning the Wu Tang Clan in much the same fashion and recently Chef Raekwon himself announced that he was interested in the aforementioned idea as well. With this causing an immediate sense of anticipation among listeners, DJ Premiere, who recently affiliated with N.W.A. member, Dr. Dre., on the track “Animals” from Dre’s latest album Compton: A Soundtrack, has similarly stated that he would like to create a similar cinematic journey concerning his musical experiences with the legendary Boston, Massachusetts duo: Gang Starr.
Composed of Keith Elum, known at the time as Keithy E. The Guru, and DJ 1,2 B Down, who went by the name of Mike Dee during this era, Gang Starr put out six albums from 1989 to 2003. DJ Premier, who went by the moniker Waxmaster C when this occurred, became attached to the group when he sent Guru a mix tape of beat that impressed the aforementioned rhymer. Their relationship was close until Keith passed away in 2010.
In this five years since this untimely event, Premier has been collaborating with Keith’s sister and has been quoted by Rolling Stone as saying, “I told her I need some time; there’s no rush.” When talking to Rolling Stone he also declared that he wants to focus on accuracy and to make sure that all the details of what actually transpired between Gang Starr and its members and Premier was as accurate as possible. Straight Outta Compton, though universally praised by critics and audiences alike, was often negated as leaving out bits of N.W.A’s relationship, such as Dr. Dre’s proposed assault on Dee Barnes. From what Premier told the above mentioned magazine he wants to make sure nothing is overlooked and neglected, including the parties, shootings and all the wild events that came to the surface during the years of 1989 to 2010.
Straight Outta Compton also received much acclaim for using Ice Cube’s son, O’ Shea Jackson, Jr., to portray the young version of the N.W.A. member which O’ Shea, Jr., did with gusto. Though DJ Premier admits that he isn’t quite lucky enough to have a family member, or someone similarly close in relation, portray the members of Gang Starr he wants that type of likeness transcended in the film. He goes on to compare the forty-year old rapper Jamal Woolard, who goes by the emcee name Gravy, and his performance as The Notorious B.I.G. in January of 2009’s criminally underrated biopic of the previously mentioned rapper, Notorious, which presented a remarkable likeness in voice, look and personality to Christopher Wallace himself. In this comparison, Premier says this is what he is searching for in the actors to portray the wordsmiths who formed Gang Starr together.
Though the amount of time necessary to find actors with such a close resemblance to Keith E. The Guru and DJ 1,2 B Down is impossible to be known, DJ Premier is obviously dedicated to making this motion picture happen and to include strong touches of accuracy and affection for his former music making partners. It is because of this I, as well as the legion of Hip Hop heads who adored Gang Starr’s work in much the same way as N.W.A’s when transforming from a youth to an adult, will look forward to this project with brimming anticipation.