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Spike Lee Responds to Chance the Rapper’s ‘Chi-Raq’ Criticism

“His father works for the mayor.”

Spike Lee‘s latest movie, Chi-Raq, has been drawing criticism since its release. Many Chicago rappers were unhappy with the film; Chance the Rapper said it was “exploitative and problematic,” Rhymefest called it “a comedy being made about death in Chicago,” Lil Durk and Lil Bibby labelled it a “parody” and a “prank,” and King Louie even took his disapproval to wax, releasing a track titled “F*ck Spike Lee.” However, a few artists — like Sasha Go Hard (who has a role in the film) — feels otherwise and supports it. Spike is aware of all the criticism and in an interview with MSNBC, he specifically targets Chance’s response.

“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.”

He talks about meeting the mayor of Chicago and understanding “both sides.”

“He never said Spike, you can’t make your film. But he was trying to convince me to change the title Chi-Raq. First of all, I didn’t come up with the title. Local Chicago rappers came up with the title. And his reasons for changing the title were troubling to me. He said the title Chi-Raq would hurt tourism and economic development. [...] As an artist, I’m going to look at it, and I’m going to look at both sides.”

Watch the full interview above.

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