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Exclusive: Spike Lee Talks 'Kickstarter,' Brooklyn Gentrification And 'School Daze 2'

Spike Lee is the latest to use crowdfunding to create buzz about his latest project, an as-yet-to-be revealed film that serves as another chapter in his chronicles of Brooklyn, New York.

Following in the footsteps of fellow filmmakers, Zach Braff (Garden State) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), renowned filmmaker, artistic director of NYU's graduate film program, and lifelong Brooklynite, Spike Lee, is the latest to turn to Kickstarter. It's no secret that the Morehouse grad turned Black Hollywood megastar has a long history of struggling to get funding for his projects. The often-lauded, yet criminally slept-on film Malcolm X was a certified Oscar award winner that had its bankroll assisted by Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan.

Lee's most recent film to date, Red Hook Summer (2012) was self-financed and shot in 19 days; leaving Lee to suggest that his inability to secure financing was due to his continued willingness to create films aimed at the Black Experience. Hollywood, which recently has fallen deeply in love with CGI films and big blockbuster talent, has often brushed films such as Love Jones, The Best Man and its ilk as "unmarketable."

As of this posting, Spike Lee's mysterious Kickstarter project has earned $214,923 through 1,221 backers in just under four days. With a goal of $1,250,000 in mind, 30 days to accomplish it, and plenty of criticism being bandied about his announcement of a "psychological thriller involving people addicted to blood," Lee and his 40 Acres and a Mule production crew have their work cut out.

VIBE was one of the few places invited to chat with Madison Square Garden's favorite season ticket holder.

Our chat found the legendary filmmaker breaking down the incentives of his Kickstarter campaign (of which director Steven Soderbergh contributed $10,000; expressing his unhappiness with the current gentrification boon going on in Brooklyn, and hints at an intriguing School Daze 2 script that Lee wants to make.

Watch the clips for yourself below:

Spike Lee Talks 'Kickstarter' —

Spike Lee Not Happy With Gentrification In Brooklyn —

Spike Lee Talks Possible 'School Daze 2' —

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An Unofficial Documentary About Drake Is Currently On Streaming Services

An unauthorized documentary about the rise of musician Drake can be viewed on video distribution services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Drake: Rewriting the Rules initially dropped on Vimeo in Nov. 2018, and now, fans of the "God's Plan" musician will have a chance to watch it at their leisure on other platforms.

The documentary chronicles the music superstar from his days growing up in Toronto, to portraying Jimmy on the hit-teen drama Degrassi, to becoming a hip-hop star and working with musicians from Kanye West to his Young Money leader, Lil Wayne.

"Discover the untold story of how Drake rewrote the rules and rose from a child actor to become a cultural phenomenon and global musical icon," writes IMDb of the film's synopsis. "He is the king of pop and hip hop, combining many musical styles into one mainstream sound." The film runs 74 minutes long. Interviews from media figures and writers are included in the doc, which was directed and written by British filmmaker Ray King. However, no representatives from Drake's team are included.

Drake has not commented on the doc as of press time. He has been relatively quiet in the news, however, it's being reported that he is close to securing a residency of sorts at the Wynn's XS Nightclub in Las Vegas.

 

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Courtesy of Hulu

Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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Al Bello

Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.

 

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