Keith Stanfield is a natural fit for the cast of Straight Outta Compton. Born and raised in California, Stanfield is a talented rapper and was recently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his supporting role in Short Term 12. We'd like Stanfield to play DJ Yella. After N.W.A. split, Yella produced songs, EPs, and albums for the likes of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Eazy-E. In 1996, he released his debut solo album, One Mo Nigga ta Go, and subsequently retired from the music industry. Good news for us: after a successful second career producing adult films, Yella decided to return to music in late 2011.
In 1992, the future looked bright for Lorenzo Jerald Patterson aka MC Ren: sure, N.W.A. had ended in tears, but his debut solo album, Kizz My Black Azz, sold over a million copies. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. We nominate Nigerian actor Dayo Okeniyi for the part of Ren.
Every film needs a bully. The obvious choice for Straight Outta Compton is Death Row Records' infamous former CEO, Suge Knight. Here's hoping we can get Craig Robinson to shave his head and don a suit.
We have a good feeling about John Boyega. The British actor has only been in four films to date, but they've been good ones: from Half of a Yellow Sun opposite Thandie Newton and Chiwitel Ejiofer to the upcoming Imperial Dreams, which will premiere at Sundance at the end of the month. We'd like John to play Eazy-E, perhaps the most challenging role in the film. A famous musician in his own right, Eazy-E released his debut solo album, Eazy-Duz-It, just before Straight Outta Compton and co-founded N.W.A.'s record label Ruthless Records. According to rumors, when N.W.A. began to fall apart, E refused to let Dr. Dre out of his record contract—or, at least until Dre got Suge Knight to threaten violence against E's mother. In March 1995, E died of AIDS-related causes at the age of 31. Since then, there have been several conspiracy theories surrounding his cause of death.
As Michael Lee on The Wire, a middle school student-turned-drug runner, Tristan Wilds was fantastic. Then he disappeared into the depths of the CW on a show called 90210. We would like Wilds to redeem himself by taking on the part of N.W.A. frontman-turned-actor, Ice Cube.
Nate Parker is slightly older than the other actors on our list—but when it comes to N.W.A.'s most successful alumnus, Dr. Dre, maturity is key.