Given ubiquitous hot button topics of late like police brutality and economic oppression, now is as good a time as any for a film like Straight Outta Compton — the highly anticipated biopic chronicling the real-life story of star-making gangsta rap revolutionaries N.W.A. The groundbreaking group's still-controversial lyrics were the spawn of inner city angst, but also often celebrated the triumphant nature of oppressed people and their perseverance against adversity. Though, just as often as hip-hop is praised for its social consciousness and cultural innovations, it's also criticized for glorifying violence, vulgarity, misogyny, and generally having an negative influence on society.
Accompanying Compton's nationwide release on Aug. 14, the National Museum of African American Music is hosting "Sips & Stanzas, Dangerous Minds: Does Hip-hop Breed Violence?" — a panel discussion on the pros and cons of hip-hop's influence — at Regal Cinemas Green Hills. The panel will include local rapper Starlito, John Gotty of The Smoking Section, motivational speaker Patrick Walker-Reese and others and will be followed by the film's premiere. Purchase tickets here. Proceeds benefit the National Museum of African American Music.