Straight Outta L.A. is an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary directed and narrated by Ice Cube. It’s about the Los Angeles Raiders and the rise of gangster rap in the ‘80s and early ‘90s. This was a tumultuous time in L.A. The crack epidemic was going on, police brutality was common, gangs and violence were rampant. The Raiders were a team that was a little rough around the edges and played a little dirty, but they won games and the city of Los Angeles quickly adopted them as their own. Among those fans was a young Ice Cube and the other founding members of NWA. They were pioneers in hip-hop and brought a new, raw style of rapping that came to be called gangster rap.
Ice Cube and the rest of NWA chose to use Raiders gear as part as their image. The iconic pirate logo and powerful silver and black colors became synonymous with gangster rap, and the two became linked for better or for worse. Ice Cube’s film features interviews with Raiders legends like Al Davis, Howie Long, and Marcus Allen as well as hip-hop legends like Ice T and Snoop Dogg to tell the story of how the Raiders influenced rap music and a city, changing the world in the process.
I know a few Raiders fans. I respect them a lot more after watching this documentary.
Critically Rated at 13/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young