Chance The Rapper Condemns Spike Lee’s “Exploitive And Problematic” Chi-Raq

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Chance The Rapper Condemns Spike Lee’s “Exploitive And Problematic” Chi-Raq

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Spike Lee’s new film Chi-Raq is a modern-day retelling of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, an ancient Greek comedy that was first performed in 411 BCE and tells the story of one woman’s attempt to end the Peloponnesian War. She does this by convincing the women of Athens and Sparta to withhold sex from their lovers until the men negotiate a peace treaty. In Lee’s retelling, women in Chicago use the same strategy to end gang violence in the city.

Chance The Rapper — who is from Chicago and is deeply embedded in the political life of the city — tweeted a disparaging comment about Lee’s movie a few weeks ago but deleted it soon after. But Chi-Raq is in theaters today, and as Pitchfork points out, the 22 year-old rapper has joined the number of prominent Chicagoans condemning the film. He took time to explain why he considers the film to be problematic in a series of tweets after retweeting the following:

Here’s what Chance had to say:

Over the past two years, Chance has helped lead an anti-violence campaign over Memorial Day weekend that uses the hashtag #SaveChicago.

The city went 42 hours without a reported shooting during that campaign, a fact that Chance shared in the lead-up to this year’s Memorial Day weekend.

Fellow Chicagoan King Louie is among a collection of local rappers calling out the film. He shared a song called “Fuck Spike Lee” along with a video directed by Forman James; watch it and check out the Chi-Raq trailer below.

UPDATE: Spike Lee responded to Chance’s criticism in a recent interview with MSNBC. He said:

First of all, Chance the Rapper should say full disclosure: his father works for the mayor. He’s the chief of staff. His father is the chief of staff. Show me any criticism, if you’re so concerned about Chicago, do your research, show me where he’s made criticisms about the mayor. I think your finds will be surprising. He’s not criticized the major. Why? His father works for the major.

Watch the full interview below.

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