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Veteran filmmaker Spike Lee‘s latest joint, Chiraq pays an unfortunate homage to the gang and gun violence in the city of Chicago, when the girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) of a Chicago gang leader (Nick Cannon) persuades other frustrated women to withhold sex until their men agree to end the senseless cycle of violence.

“That premise comes from a play, Lissastra written by Aristophanes…they said lock it up! It was written in 411 BC. We’re really very happy with the cast. Angela Basset, Dave Chappelle, Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, we have a ton of people to come together for one purpose – to save lives.”


Nick Cannon, left, and Spike Lee attend the premiere of "Chi-Raq" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

On his decision to cast Nick Cannon as a gangster rapper:

“There was a lot of noise out of Chicago, especially from Chicago rappers. Nick Cannon ain’t hard, Nick Cannon ain’t killed nobody. There’s no honor having bodies on you. We’ve got to raise people’s consciousness. We’ve got to come to a place where young brothers understand that your life is most precious.”

Click the link above to hear the entire interview.

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(Photo Source: Courtesy, AP, Chiraq Instagram)

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12 thoughts on “Spike Lee Says ‘Chiraq’ Is A Love Letter To Chicago’s South Side, Defends Decision To Cast Nick Cannon

  1. it's my opinion on said:

    Without having seen the movie, but just reading the theme…unfortunately, Spike Lee is SERIOUSLY out of touch..I do mean COMPLETELY! I would be surprise if that movie makes less than a third of whatever he spent to make it. WHY?

    Because no one told him that BLACK men are no longer DATING black women….These knee-grows could care less. They are no longer looking inside “massa” house as Misses walking around smiling and looking like she smells like “lilcac” and dressed in pink…foaming at the mouth, wishing and praying old Master wouldn’t give him a good whipping for dating, lusting over his wife.

    Those fears are over and they knee-grows are kneeling at these white women feet, they don’t care if they big, small, have one leg, one eye, can’t spell and dumb as a bag of rocks….lol!

  2. Ken Thom on said:

    Just finished viewing Chiraq…as a Chicago native I must say I am Extremely Disappointed in this movie. This movie does Very Little to bring attention to the seriousness of Chicago’s current issues. The movie is filled primarily with sexual references and sexual language thru and thru that had no purpose. I enjoy subliminal messages as much as the next person, but that was not the case here. Shout out to Jennifer Hudson who’s scene really did Chicago justice. Sorry Spike but this Failed…completely!

  3. ms. kim on said:

    love nick ( Me me is an idiot for letting this one go) and big ups to spike for always keeping us conscience as someone who is in the industry and still keeping it real I respect how he is still in the struggle with us who don’t have a public platform to stand on. 🙂 wish more ppl in his position would take that stand and give back however they can to make a difference.

  4. October on said:

    I’m listening to Curtis Mayfield while reading this article. For some reason, some of the songs would seem to fit well into this movie.

  5. specialt757 on said:

    Ok so let me get this straight. SL needed to explain his decision on why he hired an actor (who somewhat raps) to play the role of a gangster rapper? And people have a problem with it because he (Nick) doesn’t have “a body count” as a rapper? GTFOH! Have people really lost their minds or what? Hell Richard Roundtree never killed anyone and got the role as SHAFT. Are you kidding me?

    • Timekeeeper on said:

      Exactly. Their big complaint is that as they put it “He aint hard” That’s the problem, too many of those numbnuts are too damn hard!

    • LOL what? Speciat757 that’s what we get for not being monolithic LOL. Can’T agree on ANYTHING!
      Who cares who gets the role-as long as somebody in Chicago GETS THE MESSAGE!
      Spike my hat is off to you AGAIN for creating something we as a people NEED TO SEE.
      Not like somebody running around in a woman’s dress acting like a fool making people laugh [as I don’t think its funny] because of the sillyness. Spike we need MORE from you my man-MORE.

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