According To Rhymefest, Spike Lee Owes Chicago An Apology
While many are still coming to terms with Spike Lee’s trailer for his latest film Chi-Raq, Chicago native Rhymefest is the least bit impressed, so much so the rapper is demanding the famed director issue an apology to the city.
On Wednesday (November 4) ‘Fest took to Twitter to air some of his grievances with the film.
SpikeLee exploited poor people https://t.co/pI2XhxR45E
— Rhymefest (@RHYMEFEST) November 4, 2015
Rhymefest, who is one of the faces of Kenneth Cole’s “Courageous Class” campaign, spoke with the Chicago Sun Times about his feelings regarding the controversial film, due out December 4.
“I’d say [Spike Lee], you owe Chicago an apology. And you owe Chicago your presence to repair the damage. I would like you to come to Chicago and speak to more community leaders and Father [Michael] Pfleger [of St. Sabina Church]. Get with the people who have programs in the community that are effective, and support those programs.”
The satirical film, which includes Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Nick Cannon and more, depict a group of women who decide to withhold sex from their gang affiliated husbands and boyfriends in hopes to stop the on-going violence taking over the city, something Rhymefest vehemently disagrees with.
“THAT’S how we want to depict our community? THAT’S the answer?” Rhymefest said.
Rhymefest continued by saying the trailer is a slap in the face to the recent death of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee who was shot multiple times at close range in a Chicago alley.
“I grieved for the 9-year-old little boy who was shot [Tyshawn Lee], and now a comedy [“Chi-Raq”] is being made about death in Chicago.”
While ‘Fest is obviously upset about a myriad of things in regards to the film, what truly angers the Windy City native most is the comparison to war, which Fest believes is the greatest exaggeration.
“Spike Lee should have used Chicago writers. None of them were from Chicago. This movie is not about a war. This is not a war. Wars are fought for a reason generally. People fight over land, over money. . . . That’s not what’s happening on Chicago’s South Side . . . . People like to say its gangs fighting over turf. That’s not it. It’s senseless violence. People feel disrespected and not validated. They’re poor. Guns are cheap. Drugs are cheap. Because guns and drugs are cheap senseless violence happens. The guns and drugs get into the hands of children. . . . You can pick up the story of this film and drop it into any [city]. Chicago was used because of the media’s portrayal of the violence and it was used as a way for [Lee] to sell tickets. We were used. We were exploited. This story is not specific to Chicago.”