On Saturday 15th October on the biopic of singer Michel'le "Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel'le" premiered on Lifetime.
Let me start from the beginning, I'll admit I didn't know JACK about Michel'le and I feel ashamed admitting that because 1) I'm a singer and 2) I'm a lover of EVERYTHING old school when it comes to hiphop and R&B. Michel'le was previously signed to Ruthless Records and Death Row due to her previous relationships with both Dr. Dre and Suge Knight.
I was first introduced to Michel'le through my love for ratchet TV, and her joining the cast of R&B Divas LA. My first thoughts of Michel'le was "Why the fuck does she speak like that?" her high-pitched voice was comical that I thought it had to be a joke, but funnily enough, I got used to it and started to appreciate her as a person and when she opened her mouth to sing...I shut up because Michel'le has a voice!
Even through watching her on R&B Divas I could tell that Michel'le had a crazy life, who could say that they have children with two of the most notorious men known to hiphop what are the odds!
So when I saw that she had a biopic coming out I was all for it! Even more so when America was all up in arms when it was released slewing Dr.Dre on social media for the portrayal of him within the biopic I knew it was a juicy one. I mean, no one would be stupid aka brave enough to do that with Suge Knight? Exactly.
Let me just say at this point I would like to personally thank Mr World Premiere for enabling me to see all things ratchet whilst living within London because without it, a betch would be lost. I thoroughly recommend you all use this site...you're welcome.
The role of Michel'le was played by Rhyon Nicole Brown who I must admit did a terrific job of portraying Michel'le live, especially her vulnerability and you are immediately drawn and empthasise with her and her rise to fame and love within this story.
The biopic is narrated and features Michel'le at several points to again ensure the connection with the drama and also with Michel'le. Michel'le also did this in order to address any questions that you may have in the back of your mind whilst watching this story unfold such as:
"Why the fuck did you stay?"
"What were you thinking?"
"Where were your friends or family when all this was happening to you?"
Without giving away too much detail, Michel'le is firstly in a relationship with Dr.Dre whilst she is very young and highly naive. The relationship starts on shaky grounds as months into their relationship Dr.Dre let's her know that he has a child on the way...and it's not his first either! When you find out through the biopic how many kids Dr.Dre has during his relationship with Michel'le it is a clutch your pearls moment! As they both rise to fame with NWA and Michel'le being the first female signed to "Ruthless Records" you also quickly see the turbulent relationship between both of them. Dr. Dre is not only emotionally but physically abusive towards Michel'le , there is one particular scene where Michel'le is singing her infamous song "Something In My Heart" where we see Dr.Dre very controlling and publicly abuse her within the scene at the studio. This scene reminded me of the Tina Turner biopic "What's Love Got To Do With It" starring Angela Bassett which was very uncomfortable to watch.
I found myself feeling sorry for Michel'le not only because of the amount of abuse which she suffered from at the hands of both of Dr.Dre and Suge Knight within this biopic, but you also see how when you have been raised in South Central, an environment where violence, drugs, police brutality and abusive relationships where the norm you easily see how "normal" an abusive relationship can seem. Especially when you don't love yourself enough and crave it so much in the arms of the wrong people. Michel'le is open about her abuse of prescription drugs, her abuse, her inner battles and the choices that she made...or mostly forced upon herself. Michel'le is a sweet, caring soul who takes of the men within her life and those around her, taught to be highly domesticated the men in her life abuse this for their own personal and sexual gain. Michel'le is loyal to a fault even when she is disrespected not only by the men she loves but the many other women in her life, the only outlet is her music which is probably the reason why her voice is so powerful in the first voice.
The biopic does primarily focus on her relationship with Dr.Dre with the last 20 minutes focusing on her relationship and "marriage" to Suge Knight. I use the word marriage extremely loosely as we learn through the biopic that her marriage to Suge Knight was not even legal and a ploy for Suge Knight to buy several properties and vehicles in Michel'le's name. Prick. She moves from "Ruthless Records" to "Deathrow Records" but again the cycle of abuse continues.
There is a lovely moment within the film where you see Michel'le has a conversation with her mother, who realises her mistakes in the things she taught Michel'le in regards to men which led to the mistakes the Michel'le made when she was old enough to get in relationships.
It is easy to see that how we could all easily make the mistakes that Michel'le had made and it will make you question previous relationships that you have got into you. It is sad to see how quickly her innocence and need for love and acceptance was exploited not once but twice but in the final scene it is one of acceptance and empowerment.
I believe some scene's were a little corny and the ending was rushed however Michel'le is planning to release a tell-all book with further details about her relationship with Dr.Dre which if I'm honest is a good marketing tool as I would like to know more about it now I have had a taste of it thanks to watching this biopic. The entire biopic features Michel'le voiceover and singing voice which would have been hard for the actress to try and duplicate within the film however even without hearing Rhyon's natural voice, she did a great job in her acting ability it that it was forgiven. I do believe however that biopics/films that are based on musical stars should feature actors/actresses that indeed can sing instead of having them mime as there are small things as an artist that I can tell we naturally do that actors miss and ends up looking forced, an example of this was Sanaa Lathan in "Disappearing Acts". I wanted to punch her in the throat every time she had a scene where she was supposed to be singing.
Dr.Dre has in fact tried legal proceedings to stop this biopic from even coming out in the first place and through his lawyers has filed a lawsuit of deformation of character. Good luck with that innit. I can't help but believe Michel'le in her account some parts may have been dramatised for the sake of the biopic, but Dr.Dre himself has previously admitted and publicly apologised for alcoholism and behaviour, and also apologised for all the women that he had "hurt" in the past. Side eye. You have to be Stevie Wonder to not see that Suge Knight is pure evil, everyone knows and feels that he is Lucifer himself, I await to see his portrayal in the upcoming Tupac biopic "All Eyez On Me" which I am beyond excited to watch as it looks amazing!
Surviving Compton: Dr.Dre, Suge and Michel'le attracted an average of over 2.3 million viewers on its debut, it's largest viewers women aged between 25-34 (just like my followers hehe) . The biopic was the most social TV program on its premiere, Lifetime also featured another project which focused on Michel'le entitled "Beyond The Headlines: Michel'le" on the same weekend. The biopic accrued over 506,000 interactions on social media platforms Twitter and Facebook from 216,000 people. It was the most social movie weekend totalling over 573,000 interactions.
I can see why this biopic pulled in such high social media interaction because of the topics of abuse, love, personal growth is something we can all sympathise and relate to. I do believe that some of the casting choices could have been a little better however, they all did their jobs to a good standard. The role of Jerry Heller played by Paul Giamatti was from a caring perspective in this biopic towards Michel'le who see even tells her to leave Dr.Dre which was in contrast to his methodological and sinister portrayal of Jerry within "Straight Outta Compton".
I would recommend you all watch this biopic if like me, you have an interest in films. R&B and Hip-hop music. I am glad that Michel'le is out of these relationships and working on her career and music again. I was never a fan of Dr.Dre headphones they are too damn expensive and according to social media many consumers have been asking for their money back for their purchase of them since watching this biopic, I can't say that I blame them!
Vexy rates Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel'le 4 out of 5 Kisses and Bumflicks
Watch this biopic with some popcorn and a good bottle of bubbly.
If you've watched the biopic comment below and let me know what you thought of the biopic!
Kisses And Bumflicks
Don't forget you can buy £5 tickets here for the "What A Woman" event I will be speaking at next Thursday!
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