1) Ice Cube Wrote The Original Line
Straight Outta Compton is largely a story about how Ice Cube’s brilliance as a lyricist is overlooked and under appreciated. You’ve got to imagine Cube feels the same way about, “Bye Felicia,” a phrase he wrote for the 1995 film Friday but rarely gets credit for in its current pop culture context. It’s just become one of those things people casually say on the internet, like laughing when you’re not really laughing or pretending to be an authority on steel beams. Just like Cube claimed credit to his lyrics in this movie, he reclaimed ownership of this invaluable contribution he made to popular culture 20 years ago.
2) Ice Cube Apparently Wrote Friday On A Tiny Laptop
Did you see that tiny computer in Straight Outta Compton that Ice Cube wrote Friday on? Jesus. That’s some shit. If you showed this to someone under the age of 10, I’m not sure they’d believe it’s a real computer. If Ice Cube could write Friday on that tiny computer, you can do anything. Stop making excuses. Also, I guess we went to the moon with less technology than a Game Boy. But did we really even go to the moon?!? I think I’m getting a little off track. The point is, Ice Cube apparently wrote that entire wonderful movie on a tiny computer screen and he deserves to reuse at least one of those lines whenever he wants.
3) It Was Improvised
According to this interview with director F. Gary Gray, the line was improvised. It just so happened that the character in the script was named Felicia and O'Shea Jackson Jr., the actor playing young Cube, decided to try squeezing in a, “Bye, Felicia,” joke on set. Unsurprisingly, it crushed. The fact that it was just a thing that happened in the moment, like any good “Bye, Felicia” joke, makes it infinitely more tolerable than something crammed in after an executive meeting about how they’re going to market the relevance of a 30 year old rap group to tweens. Can someone please invite me to one of those meetings? I feel like they’d be super fun to sit in on. Probably some really good catering going on in those meetings. Lots of fresh fruit and imported meats.
4) Back To The Future Stuff Is Cool
Back To The Future stuff is cool, we can all agree on that, and this was definitely a Back To The Future moment. It’s especially meta since Ice Cube’s actual son is playing the young version of himself in the movie. It’s like he went back in time and created the origin story behind the line his dad would later write for Friday. The crazy thing is there will now be a whole generation who sees Straight Outta Compton and will properly credit Ice Cube as coming up with, “Bye, Felicia,” but will incorrectly attribute it to this moment in the biopic that didn’t actually happen in real life. That is heavy.
5) Topical Humor Is Tough
Topical humor is tough. I mean, I’m trying to do it here and I’m not sure I succeeded. This is mostly topical observation. Maybe the humor is in that I took the time to write all of this? Or that you read it all? And did we REALLY go to the moon?!? Anyways, topical humor is hard and it’s a credit to Compton’s quality that they were able to sneak this joke past the goalie without disrupting the tone of the film as a whole. I’m just glad they kept it to one present day nod. If someone hit the whip and nae nae in the background of the Rodney King riot scene, as hilarious as that would’ve been, I think we’d all agree it was too much.