The N.W.A story is a familiar one within the hip-hop community. It's probably hip-hop's first great rags-to-riches story and one that has since spawned many spin-offs (See: 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar etc).

Who would have thought that the story of five young men from Compton, California - one of the most notorious regions in the US for gang violence - would go on to quite literally change the face and sound of hip-hop forever... and then go on to have Hollywood create a movie about said story.

As you'd expect, Straight Outta Compton centers around the birth, rise and eventual downfall of N.W.A (or Niggaz Wit Attitudes), kicking off in the '80s with a young Eric 'Eazy-E' Wright (Jason Mitchell) in a sticky situation before being interrupted by a battering ram and a hoard of police officers looking to catch a piece of the action. Shortly after, we're introduced to Andre 'Dr. Dre' Young (Corey Hawkins) who, having missed out on an employment opportunity set up by his mother Vera and a subsequent argument, moves out of his family home (leaving behind his younger brother) to live with his girlfriend and baby.

He's later visited by O'Shea 'Ice Cube' Jackson (O'Shea Jackson, Jr.) and wins a small job DJing at a local club where he meets up Antoine 'DJ Yella' Carraby. At the club, Dre meets with Eazy-E (and MC Ren played by Aldis Hodge) and first puts into his head the idea of breaking into the music industry. After Young is arrested for doing little more than standing in a parking lot, Eazy-E decides to invest his money into setting up a record label which he calls Ruthless Records. Written by Ice Cube, 'Boyz N' The Hood' is originally set to be recorded by the label's first signees H.B.O before being dismissed by the group. Dre suggests that Eazy records it and after a few false starts, the track is laid down and they begin to create the debut album N.W.A. and the Posse.

Eazy sends the album to be pressed and meets up with Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti), who quickly becomes his manager and co-founder of Ruthless Records. While legend would have you think that Heller is/was an all round evil matriarch controlling the group, initially, he is genuinely drawn to Eazy's talents and is quickly turning into a genuine fan of the rising rapper. He knows that no one will take him and his crew seriously so offers his services in order to get Eazy and N.W.A to where they need to be. To his credit, he does a grand job initially. Following their first headline show at the Moonlight Rollerway, the group quickly sign to growing label Priority Records and head out on a US tour. He also becomes something of an enemy of the forces; he's the only person supporting these young black guys in getting out of their situations and comes to blows with them directly in an altercation outside their studio during the recording of their debut album. Growing suspicious of his closeness to Eazy and having written a large proportion of the group's records, Cube is keen to get a contract from Heller to ensure he gets his fair share of the profits. Later, Dre reassures him and tells him to stick with it until the contract arrives. Ultimately, Cube rejects the contract and eventually decides to leave the group.

Underneath (or rather alongside) the story of N.W.A is a tale that's still very much in play today and that is, unfortunately, the lack of worth for black lives in the United States. In 1991, a black taxi driver by the name of Rodney King was attacked by a group of white officers with batons. Despite being caught on video, four out of five officers had their charges dropped. Following years and years of social injustice and unrest, April 29, 1992 saw the beginning of five days of riots in Los Angeles, leaving 53 people dead, and 2000+ injured. This story also plays a central part in the Straight Outta Compton story and even shows a visibly upset Eazy-E watching the verdict of the trial on TV. The Rodney King story is particularly poignant; footage of the riots could easily have been taken from the Ferguson riots, or even the London riots in 2012. It's a stark reminder that even 20 or 30 years later, things haven't changed - and that's incredibly scary. Social unrest amongst the African-American community has never gone away, we're just lucky (in a way) that social media and mobile phones with cameras exist because one cannot begin to wonder how many other Rodney King's there were in America at the time. It's an important issue that needs to be addressed, and this film's timing couldn't have come at a better time.

Another poignant moment comes during N.W.A's tour stop in Detroit, Michigan where they're warned by the police not to perform their politically charged and shocking single 'Fuck The Police' at the risk of being arrested. Of course, they defy the orders, they're arrested and a mini-riot ensues around the venue. It's another well delivered piece of irony that again, echoes many of today's rampant issues with the law surrounding certain genres of music, perhaps more so in the UK with Grime music (and that God-awful 696 form).

As Cube continues on his solo route, tensions between him and the remainder of the group reach fever-pitch, especially around the release of N.W.A's 100 Miles & Running EP. Cube quickly fires back with Real Niggaz and it comes a genuine battle of words; a battle that Eazy and N.W.A never truly recover from and worsens once Dre leaves to sign with Suge Knight's Death Row Records - another partnership that ends in disappointment. As Eazy's undiagnosed illness worsens and relationships repair - including the start of a brand new N.W.A album featuring Dre and Cube - he falls ill in the studio and is rushed to the hospital, where he is diagnosed with AIDS after years of unprotected sexual promiscuity.

For all that is outstanding in this film - and I must stress that it is nothing short of outstanding - there are some niggling aspects that could have been handled a little better. Some section were explored in depth, such as the intricate details surrounding record contracts (which, unless you're totally into every aspect of the music business, could end up being really boring), while bits that long term fans would want to know more about, such as Ice Cube joining the Nation of Islam or Heller's links to the Jewish Defense League, are simply glossed over and given one line in the script. Dre is involved in a high-speed chase with police and subsequently arrested... but that's it. It's never heard of again. Overnight, Cube goes from teenage gangster rapper to solo star to acting superstar and is even seen writing the script for Friday before reminiscing with wife Kimberly while watching music videos on their big screen TV. There's also a weirdly placed homage to Friday in there, which perhaps details the story of the birth of the long-running "Bye Felicia" meme.

Much of the film's highlights comes from its stellar soundtrack. Not only does it include a large proportion of N.W.A's iconic back-catalogue, it also uses much of the '70s funk and '80s R&B/soul that influenced much of Dr. Dre's early productions. It's a die-hard hip-hop lovers paradise, but it's also an important film for 2015's new generation to know that they're not alone in their struggles.

With a largely inexperienced cast, Straight Outta Compton could and should be the perfect launch pad for a number of young actors including Jason Mitchell, who does a stellar job portraying the sometimes enigmatic Eazy-E. It's an intense rollercoaster of emotions, that partly captures snapshots of N.W.A.'s energy. Whether you're familiar with Dr. Dre before the Beats deal or you've been there since 'Boyz in Tha Hood', be prepared to wear your heart on your sleeve.