Last year, Straight Out Of Compton, the highly-anticipated feature film on N.W.A., was a box office success and enjoyed wide critical acclaim. Following the release of the movie, which was produced by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, other narratives surrounding the rise and fall of the group. In a piece published by Gawker, journalist Dee Barnes opened up about being assaulted by Dr. Dre in 1991 and also called out the producers of the film for ignoring Dre's alleged violence against artists Tairrie B and Michel’le.
Michel'le, who was signed to both Ruthless and Death Row, announced an upcoming Lifetime movie entitled Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel'le. The singer recently sat down with writer and television host Melissa Harris-Perry to discuss the film in an interview for ELLE.
Since rap was still barred from complete mainstream crossover success, Michel'le's R&B records were a crucial part of Ruthless Record's prosperity. "Rap was forbidden with the people who were interviewing us and the shows that I was getting [booked on], and I had kind of crossed over," she explains about her time at Ruthless. "So Jerry [Heller, who managed N.W.A.] would tell me, 'Do not say you're a rapper, always say you're R&B.' Then instead of introducing Dre as the guy from N.W.A., he would say Dre was my producer! Dre would come to my interviews with me—he'd come to all these places that would never have had the guy from N.W.A."
When referring to Straight Outta Compton, Michel’le called the film a "Disneyland" story and details the abuse that she endured while she was with Dr. Dre. "The beatings were so normal to me," she tells Harris-Perry. "The abuse was just routine. I didn't wake up the next day and say, 'Dre, why did you hit me?' We never talked about it the next day. Never. I can't think of any time we had a discussion about the aftermath of what happened the night before."
Read the full interview here. Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel'le premieres this Saturday, October 15 on Lifetime.