"You've never watched someone die here."
Spike Lee's latest film "Chi-Raq" has been a lightning rod of controversy ever since the trailer aired at the beginning of November. Rhymefest has led a chorus of rappers, including Lil Durk & Lil Bibby, in ladelling out harsh criticism of the film's portrayal of gun violence in the South Side of Chicago. The latest rapper to criticize Lee and "Chi-Raq" is none other than Chance the Rapper, who was recently named Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine.
Chance launched into a brief, strongly worded Twitter rant Friday afternoon. "Let me be the one from Chicago to personally tell you we not supporting this film out here," he wrote. "That shit get ZERO love out here. Shit is goofy and it's a bunch of ppl from NOT around here telling u to support that shit. The people that made that shit didn't do so to 'Save Lives.' It's exploitive and problematic."
As part of the film's New York (!?) premiere on Tuesday, December 1, Spike Lee led a rally against gun violence, for which he was joined by, naturally, the Reverend Al Sharpton. "This film is about changing lives," said Lee.
"Chi-Raq" is an adaptation of the Greek play Lysistrata, in which women abstain from sex in order to prevent men from going to war. In the case of "Chi-Raq," war=gun violence. Chance wasn't feeling it.
"The idea that women abstaining from sex would stop murders is offensive and a slap in the face to any mother that lost a child here," he wrote. "You don't do any work with the children of Chicago, You don't live here, you've never watched someone die here. Don't tell me to be calm."
Are you riding with Team Chance or Team "Chi-Raq"?