Shout out to all of the men tuning into Lifetime to check out Michel’le’s biopic, Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge and Michel’le! This movie was good enough to wipe the bad taste that was the Alliyah movie from my mind! If nothing, the movie is able to go heads up with N.W.A.’s biopic, Straight Outta Compton; toning down the super-heroic persona Dr. Dre was afforded.
The movies shocking account of Michel’le recording her hit single Something in My Heart while being beaten by Dr. Dre was eye opening to say the least. Michel’le’s powerful, singing voice, combined with Dre's classic bass heavy production make for an early 90s R&B classic. A closer look at the lyrics displays a battered woman crying out for help. Don't believe me? Check out some of the more telling lyrics from the 'hit' song:
1. ‘Something in my heart/Ooh it’s got me hooked on you.’
Seeing Dr. Dre choking Michel’le out when she recorded this song was a trippy experience...to think that such an enduring love song was recorded in the midst of domestic abuse. Why would Michel’le accept such behavior when everyone around her was telling her to get away? That something in her heart may have been Battered Woman Syndrome. Women that suffer from this affliction suffer long term psychological and physical abuse, oftentimes blaming themselves for the violence.
2. ‘The changes I’m going through, you know I’ll never be the same/ Your love has touched me so, there’s no one else to blame, but yooouuu…
Let’s put some blame on Michel’le’s trusted elder, Meme in this instance. In the movie’s beginning, we see Michel’le as a little girl, encouraged by her elder Meme to accept physical violence from her significant other. An abusive rite of passage for wives is her interpretation of abuse, and Meme even goes so far as to tell the child that most women deserve the beat-downs from their husbands! Such antiquated advice may have given Michel’le a predisposition to being mentally and physically dependent on Dr. Dre, or any man she would have met in his stead.
3. ‘Baby if we try, things will get better/ No one can tell me different, We should be together.
Michel’le knew. Eazy-E knew. Even Jerry Heller tried to convince her naive, wide eyed self that she needed to leave Dre’s abusive ass, but she didn’t have the courage. She seemed determined to make her relationship work, despite the beatings, cheating, drinking, etc. Think about it, she was in a relationship with Dr. FREAKING Dre! Anyone would be enamored with his musical talents, but a young girl with ambitions of singing paired with the N.W.A. hit maker? She was akin to a puppy following after its master.
4. ‘There’s no reason why we should be apart/ Oh Baby, cause searching for something out there will leave two lonely hearts’
Who is Michel’le convincing here, Dre or herself? Waking up to a drunken beatdown in your own bed is more than enough reason for two people to be apart. He also shot at her, which in my book is a relationship ender! There's an old saying; ‘there are always more fish in the sea.' Said fish should be thrown back into the sea if it’s drunk and abusive. Sure the fish aren’t always biting, and you may even catch an eel or frog along the way, but it’s better than a black eye!
When all is said and done, just be thankful that Michel’le eventually separated from Dr. Dre and went on to lead a happy life. Hell, be thankful that Dr. Dre made the Chronic, discovered Snoop Dogg and the Dogg Pound, and helped Death Row Records become the soundtrack of the 90s. An artist’s personal life shouldn’t denounce their accomplishments, even if that personal life is tainted with bad decisions and abuse like Michel’le and Dr. Dre.