Who Performs The Songs In 'Straight Outta Compton'? You'll Be Surprised Who Gave The Movie Its Music

The new movie Straight Outta Compton tells the true life tale of rap group NWA, who formed in the late '80s and went on to become extremely influential in bringing the genre of so-called gangsta rap to the mainstream. Some of the group's members are still recognizable today, like Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, and the film's backdrop of a gang-infested and brutally policed Compton, California resonates as strongly today as it did over two decades ago, due in large part to several recent high profile examples of violence from police toward unarmed black men. The film has so far drawn rave reviews from critics for its portrayal of the group, especially among the young actors tasked with playing the iconic rappers. But as is the case with any movie about musicians, many fans are wondering if the actors are actually rapping in the film, or if we're hearing real NWA tracks. So which is it? Who performs the songs in Straight Outta Compton , the actors or the NWA?

The answer is: both. The actors in the film re-recorded NWA's 1988 album, Straight Outta Compton, and the film mixes their versions along with the original tracks from NWA. But not all of the actors came into the project as rappers. Corey Hawkins plays Dr. Dre in the film, and with his background in Shakespeare he wasn't sure he was right for the part initially. But he told ABC News that he learned to DJ for the film and spent time in the studio with Dre himself to prepare. Jason Mitchell, who portrays the late Eazy-E, learned to rap for the film by working with rapper Dub C and Ice Cube. And speaking of Ice Cube, his own son, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., plays him in the movie. The film is Jackson's acting debut, but as a rapper already, his skills as an MC are what ultimately landed him the role.

So now that you know who performs the songs in the movie, it's time to actually listen to them. Here are some of NWA's tracks that appear in the film, out Aug. 14. It goes without saying, their lyrics are super NSFW.

"Boyz-N-The Hood"

Eazy-E released this song as a solo debut in 1987, and it was written by Ice Cube, and produced by fellow NWA members Dr. Dre and DJ Yella.

"Straight Outta Compton"

NWAVEVO on YouTube

Not surprisingly, the film's title track is featured prominently in the film. The groups top three members share the mic in this track, which is one of their most iconic songs.

"Fuck Tha Police"

big block on YouTube

Probably NWA's most famous song, and undoubtedly their most controversial, the song has as much impact now as it did in 1988.

"No Vaseline"

krakarolina on YouTube

Ice Cube's diss track aimed at his former bandmates and manager was released after he left the group, and definitely shows there was no love lost between Cube and NWA at the time.

Straight Outta Compton can't come soon enough.

Images: Universal Pictures