Rhymefest Says That Spike Lee’s ‘Chiraq’ Exploits Poor People



Rhymefest is not hype about the next Spike Lee Joint. After the trailer for the Brooklyn filmmaker’s newest movie, Chiraq, hit the internet waves many were thrilled but the Chicago rapper was insulted.

In a convo with the Chicago Sun-Times, he elaborated on his issues with the film’s concept.

“I’d say [Spike Lee], you owe Chicago an apology,” he said. “And you owe Chicago your presence to repair the damage. I would like you to come to Chicago and speak to more community leaders and Father [Michael] Pfleger [of St. Sabina Church]. Get with the people who have programs in the community that are effective, and support those programs.”

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Chiraq is a satirical film that follows the girlfriends of gang-affiliated men. In efforts to stop the violence in their city, they withhold sex from them. The movie is a modern-day twist on the Greek mythology comedy Lysistrata, where women refuse to have intercourse with their husbands and boyfriends until they end the Peloponnesian War.

“THAT’S how we want to depict our community? THAT’S the answer?” he said.

The 38-year-old was also not thrilled about Lee comparing Chicago’s rough streets to a war.

“Spike Lee should have used Chicago writers. None of them were from Chicago. This movie is not about a war. This is not a war. Wars are fought for a reason generally. People fight over land, over money. . . . That’s not what’s happening on Chicago’s South Side . . . . People like to say its gangs fighting over turf. That’s not it. It’s senseless violence. People feel disrespected and not validated. They’re poor. Guns are cheap. Drugs are cheap. Because guns and drugs are cheap senseless violence happens.” He added, “If I were to go to Brooklyn [Lee lives in New York] and grab one community leader and say I’m gonna make a movie called ‘Blacks Kill Blacks All Day in Brooklyn,’ and this movie is written by somebody from Chicago, I don’t think Spike Lee would like that.”

Rhymefest says he is still a Spike Lee fan and will be going to see Chiraq. He said if it exceeds his expectations he is “willing to shake Spike Lee’s hand and apologize.”