How DJ Yella Feels About 'Straight Outta Compton' & Being A Supporting Character In The N.W.A Biopic
Straight Outta Compton is a certified box office hit, and the surviving members of N.W.A. couldn't be happier. Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, two of the remaining four members of N.W.A. and the only two who are credited as producers on the film, have had nothing but praise for the biopic. MC Ren and DJ Yella, on the other hand, were only consultants and had less creative input, so you might expect their reactions to be different. Yet while MC Ren has been vocal about his objections to parts of the film, DJ Yella feels that Straight Outta Compton deserves only positivity. It's an attitude that seems to have been his genuine outlook throughout the entire N.W.A. ride.
MC Ren and DJ Yella are both relegated to somewhat supporting roles in Straight Outta Compton, with more famous faces Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E taking most of the spotlight and screen time. As the New York Times reviewer put it, "If you didn't know N.W.A. members MC Ren and DJ Yella before, you're not likely to know them after, as they're inconsequential to this telling." Yet inconsequential or not, DJ Yella, as played by Neil Brown Jr., has emerged as one of the more likable members of N.W.A., no doubt in part due to his role as the comedic relief in the film.
DJ Yella has denied being such a goofball, but has also said that he doesn't mind having his character exaggerated a bit for the sake of the film. "It needed a little extra, a little more excitement to the movie and stuff. My character wasn't really a funny character but does some funny things in the movie just to break it up so it wouldn't be so tense, so serious all the time," Yella said in an interview with XXL.
Yella took a similar approach to being excluded from early promotion for the film, something MC Ren publicly complained about on Twitter. MC Ren also recently took to social media to criticize his role in the film, saying, "Don't let the movie fool you about my contribution to the group."
Yella seemed much more laid-back about his role in the film, but that's not surprising. When N.W.A. broke up, and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre left the group and had public beefs with Eazy-E, Yella made a point of not taking sides. "And that's just me, I'm friends with everybody. I had no beef with anybody," Yella told The Daily Beast.
DJ Yella does not have the same name recognition as his N.W.A. counterparts, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, but the producer, adult film director and DJ doesn't seem to mind. In fact, Yella insists he's just the same guy he was when N.W.A. first formed. "I just stayed the same. Me and Dre go back so far — a long 30 years — even before N.W.A. The way we talk to each other now is the same way we talked when we first met. No big heads, no ego stuff," he said in an interview with Billboard.
As for Straight Outta Compton, Yella has only one message, telling XXL: "You better go out and see it, 'cause it's great. It's a good movie. No, to tell you the truth, it is good. Excellent, to tell you the truth."