Straight Outta Compton, the stellar hip-hop biopic that's currently racing its way to a $50 million (+) opening weekend, represents a crucial moment in American cinema. Unlike previous attempts at landing an Oscar-worthy biopic with both worthy insights into the creative process of its subjects and a timeless cultural importance, Compton actually pushes itself to the finish line.

On the eve of the long overdue film's premiere, Complex had the chance to not only interview the film's cast but also sit in on a revelatory panel featuring Compton director F. Gary Gray, O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Ice Cube)Jason Mitchell (Eazy E), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), and the actual Ice Cube. The team behind one of the year's most important films once again spoke on the legacy of N.W.A., as well as their individual intentions for joining the project. "This was extremely personal for me," says Gray. "This one [movie], I think, is arguably my best." Cube echoes Gray's sentiments, referencing their experience on the set of Friday as an influence on finally bringing Compton to fruition"There are only a few people that could tell this story," says Cube. "[Gray] knows this story. He was there."

Speaking on the difficulty of going "from Shakespeare to South Central LA," Hawkins expressed his appreciation for Dre's support and the sense of teamwork present throughout the production. "We could not have done this without each other," says Hawkins. "We held each other up. When one was slipping, the other one was there to catch them."

Peep the full panel discussion above and be sure to catch Straight Outta Compton at a theater near you.