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Chance The Rapper Explains Why Chicago Doesn’t Love Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq


Earlier this month, Chance The Rapper dressed down Spike Lee’s divisive film Chi-Raq in a Twitter rant that labeled the film “exploitative and problematic.” On MSNBC, Lee countered Chance’s criticism by saying that Chance hasn’t directed any ire toward Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel because his father is the Deputy Chief of Staff.

Today (December 16), Chance offered his rebuttal Chicago hip-hop radio station 107.5 WCGI: “”I mean, Spike Lee is saying that ’cause he’s promoting a movie. He’s trying to make more money,” the Chicago native said. “He got his little 15 million from Amazon and his other little bread from Lionsgate and made a movie that was not about Chicago but, you know what I’m saying, manipulated and used Chicago actors and Chicago scenery to push this movie.”

Chance later chalked up the film, a satire based on the Greek play Lysistrata, as an “oversimplification of a bigger problem,” explaining how he didn’t feel the film understood the plights of Chicago’s youth: “The reason why we’re dying isn’t because there’s two head gangbangers that are into it,” he continued. “We’re dying because we all have PTSD, you know, post-traumatic stress disorder. Kids as young as seven, and younger than that, have seen people murdered in front of them. So that starts a paranoia in your mind that you’re walking around with. When you’re walking around and you feel like people are trying to kill you, you shoot when you get scared. That’s a problem that even I have. That’s a problem that a lot of people suffer. And I feel like he didn’t address that. He made it seem like we’re doing it because of gang life, and because our male ego is being compromised when we don’t fight. But that’s the smallest form of it.”

He also took the time while on the air to directly condemn everyone involved in the shooting of Laquan McDonald (including Mayor Emanuel) and announce Warmest Winter Chicago, an initiative set on raising $100,000 to donate 1,000 coats to the homeless of Chicago this winter.

Chi-Raq has been courting controversy ever since the first trailer dropped a few months ago, mainly for accusations of sexism and black-on-black crime. What do you think of what Chance had to say? Check out the interview above.

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