10 Ride-Or-Die Lessons About Friendship We Learned From Gangsta Rap

Photo: Universal Pictures
from Straight Outta Compton

We were given a chance to check out Straight Outta Comptonand, well, it slayed. The film tells the story of N.W.A., the rap group from Compton that’s credited for creating gangsta rap. Both Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were members, along with Eazy-E. The group gained notoriety and then fame for the song “F—- the Police.”

While the movie tells the story of their rise to fame, it’s also about the relationship between the members. They weren’t just friends — they were a family. Not to spoil the movie or anything if you're not familiar with their back story, but things get pretty crazy.

These guys started at the literal bottom and fought their way to the top. There’s a lot to learn from their story. To help make things easier on you, we’ve collected the most important lessons here. Here are 10 things Straight Outta Compton taught us about life and friendship. And, you know, about N.W.A., too.

1. Stick by your family 

Eazy-E was part of a group that changed the world, but then he lost focus on what was important. Once he lost Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, N.W.A. fell out of the spotlight. Find out who your Cube and Dre are, and never let them go.


2. Don't start a beef if you can't finish it

When Ice Cube left N.W.A., he was willing to let things be. Eazy-E decided to take shots at Cube, which really backfired on him. Cube fired back and completely embarrassed N.W.A. Be like Cube — don't be a starter, be a finisher.


3. A baseball bat wins any argument 

One time, when a record exec wouldn’t pay Ice Cube what he was owed, Cube came to his office with a baseball bat. Sometimes you have to recognize when someone's just being stubborn and get a baseball bat — metaphorically speaking. Actually threatening someone with a baseball is super illegal, and you'll end up in jail. Unless you're Ice Cube, of course.


4. Don't cheat 

Ask Felicia what happens when you cheat. No one respects a cheater.


5. Know what you're worth 

Both Ice Cube and Dr. Dre left N.W.A. because they weren't getting what they deserved. They both went on to find huge success. While they were doing pretty well in N.W.A., they were still being held back. That's how awesome both of them are.


6. Sometimes, you just have to start fresh 

When he realized it wasn’t the place he wanted to be, Dr. Dre left Death Row Records. Leaving Death Row at the time meant Dre was walking away from millions of dollars, but he formed Aftermath and ended up being worth way more. Speaking of which ...


7. You can't put a price on peace of mind 

Throughout the movie, all of the characters who make decisions based on money end up getting screwed. Anytime someone decides to do something despite the financial risk, it ends up working out spectacularly. Follow your heart.


8. Old men will break up your friendships 

You have to watch out for them. They don’t care about you. They’ll drive your friends away and then ruin your finances.


9. Don't hang out with maniacs 

It took Dr. Dre a while to figure it out, but hanging around Suge Knight wasn’t the best idea. If you’re friends with somebody who pistol whips people for parking in the wrong spot, don’t be friends with that person.


10. Ice Cube is better than you 

Throughout the movie, there's one lesson repeated over and over again: People keep trying to take on Ice Cube, and he always wins. Just let Cube be Cube; you're not going to knock him down.