This weekend Michel'le, the baby mama of Dr. Dre and Suge Knight, released a lifetime movie on her side of Surviving Compton. This biopic showed her personal story intertwined with the NWA biopic, Straight Out of Compton. "Surviving Compton" allowed us to see NWA, Dr. Dre and Suge Knight from a different point of view. A view that was there the whole time but never talked about.
The main problem when it came to releasing this movie was that Dre did not want his character depicted in a negative or bad way. He threatened to sue if that was the case. But it seems like Michel'le did not let that stop her from telling her truth. She held nothing back in this behind the scenes look at her life. Many scenes from the movie were hard to watch, especially the first time Dre put his hands on her. Coming home drunk late one night and beat her as she woke up to greet him. There was even scene in the studio, in front of everyone, where he choked her and called her out of her name because a song was not done. In the scene, he even threatening to beat her when she got home.
We saw the evolution of how Dre and Michel’le went from a young couple surviving in Compton together, growing through music, to Dre having a complete drinking problem and turning on her. This abuse her caused her to turn to drugs & alcohol to numb the pain physically and mentally.
When she found out she was pregnant with Dre’s baby, it was at the beginning of her career. She was on tour, opening up for MC Hammer, album had just gone gold & then the news broke. Dre threatened, "If you weren’t pregnant with my child, I would kick your ass" for trying to abort the baby during such a huge point in her career.
The crazy part about all of this: the abuse wasn’t a secret. The violence he had towards her would be in front of people in the studio, at video shoots, anywhere. Eazy and Jerry Heller would try to protect her and minimize the violence when then could but in the end, she decided to stay and take it.
Michel'le's story went simultaneously with the NWA story. She was there for it all; when Ruthless Records was started, the fall out of the group, when Ice Cube decided to go solo, when Suge Knight and Dre collabed for Death Row, the start of Tupac, and even the beginning of Dr. Dre’s label, Aftermath.
Her relationship with Suge Knight began when Dre started slacking. The light bill wasn’t paid, no food was in the house and she had no means of transportation. Suge was there to pay the bills and support. He even sent her to rehab for her prescription drug addiction. When she got out, Suge was right there, while Dre was getting married to another woman. Mind you, Suge Knight, himself, was married through all of this.
When he was convicted of parole violation and send to jail, he paid her $30,000 to take of things in the outside world, but really he was using her for her name. To put fraud information and business deals under her name, which is how the fake marriage came about (She later found of the marriage was fake). Eventually, she gave birth Suge Knight’s daughter, Bailei Knight.
Throughout the movie, she narrated, walking us through her internal thoughts. She mentioned how people asked if she got with Suge to get back at Dre, but she denied it. She even weighed out the pros and cons of both men and explained why she decide to deal with Suge even with the evil attached to his name and image.
Others thought this movie was her opportunity to take shots and get back at Dre, but she denies that as well. On her end, she says this was to speak out for women, putting a spotlight on an issue that is ongoing in our community and showing her personal fight.
Dre has made recent statements apologizing to the women that he has hurt in his life. In a letter to Sony - who he threatened to sue if the movie was released - Dre wrote that Michel’le has never spoken publicly on these abuse accusations until recently; accusations that he has denied. Dre’s lawyer pointed out that Michel’le never sought medial attention or called the cops throughout the couple’s time together.
But this has become the debate, was this movie for enlightenment and prevention or was it for her own pettiness?
On top of that, will Dre be suing Sony based of the negative spotlight he was put in from the movie?