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Chance the Rapper Slams Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq': 'Exploitive and Problematic'

By Kelly Bauer | December 4, 2015 3:13pm | Updated on December 8, 2015 10:02am
 Chance the Rapper (l.) slammed Spike Lee's
Chance the Rapper (l.) slammed Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq."
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DOWNTOWN — Chance the Rapper took to Twitter Friday to slam Spike Lee's "Chi-Raq," calling the film "exploitive."

The movie, a satire and modern takeoff on the Greek play "Lysistrata," puts Nick Cannon in the leading role as rapper and gang leader Chi-Raq. Chi-Raq's girlfriend, Lysistrata, played by Teyonah Parris, leads black women in calling for a "sex strike" to end violence on the South Side.

Chance, a Chicago native and anti-violence advocate, criticized the film and its makers, saying they were taking advantage of the city's violence to make a movie.

"The people that made that s--- didn't do so to 'save lives,'" Chance tweeted on Friday. "It's exploitive and problematic."

He continued: "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."

Chance also criticized the film's plot, saying it was a "slap in the face to any mother that lost a child here" to suggest women refusing to have sex would end Chicago's gun violence. There have been more than 12,000 shootings in the city since 2010.

The rapper is not the first to criticize "Chi-Raq." Lee's film has earned the ire of some due to its name, which combines "Chicago" with "Iraq" as a play on gun violence in the city. Reviews have been mixed, with some saying its comedy is at odds with its subject matter while others have said it is Lee's best film in years.

Chance wasn't the only local rapper to weigh in on the film, released Friday. King Louie released a song called "F--- Spike Lee" in which he says the director is "using our walk and struggle for relevance" and, like Chance, says it exploits Chicagoans.

Here are Chance's tweets about the movie. Warning: One includes profanity:






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