F Gary Gray

*After the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” pulled in an estimated $157.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, F. Gary Gray became the king of Black Hollywood directors, earning the most on a single film domestically.

Gray, whose career catapulted after the success of he and Ice Cube’s “Friday” franchise, beat Keenen Ivory Wayans’s 2000 comedy “Scary Movie” and Tim Story’s 2005 superhero adventure “Fantastic Four.” Although, “Fantastic Four” still reigns internationally with $175.8 million at the box office. “Scary Movie” ranked second, earning $121 million worldwide.

F. Gary encouraged his social media followers to go out and support “Compton,” and he later took to Twitter to post his shock at the overwhelming audience response to the film.

“There’s a humanity to the story that you wouldn’t normally associate with this genre of music,” Gray told Vice. “That was important to me. I want you to get to know the guys behind the tracks, behind the lyrics and beats, and get a sense of them as human beings. That’s what makes this special, because you can’t just google ‘N.W.A.’ and get these details.”

Gray’s affinity with his subjects is evident in the video he shot for Cube and Dre’s “Natural Born Killas” (1994) and Dre’s “Keep Their Heads Ringin.”

During his August interview with Vice, Gary talked about his longtime relationship with Cube, and how rewarding it is to be telling the N.W.A story now.

I’ve known Cube since the beginning of my career as a director, and it’s all come full circle. For me, to be able to tell the story of N.W.A. and their lives—their rise, their fall, and then their rise again—it’s the film of a lifetime for me. I grew up in Los Angeles in that era, so a lot of things that they rapped about I witnessed and experienced firsthand. A lot of the elements of the story intersect in ways that have never intersected for me in other films I’ve directed.”

You can read more from F. Gary Vice interview here.