Chance the Rapper is still upset with Spike Lee over the director’s latest film.
Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, hit back at Lee on Tuesday after the filmmaker called him a “fraud” during a screening of Chi-raq at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois last week.
“Come on now. This guy promoting this offensive unsuccessful flop of a movie … about the Southside … in f—ing Evanston…,” Chance wrote on Twitter. “And then get mad when students at the screening challenge him on his sexist, and RACIST movie and he wanna point the finger at me. Boy. You are a lame. But more importantly a liar.”
In a later tweet, Chance claimed to have audio of Lee “begging me to be in that trash ass movie.” He did not mention Lee directly by name in any of the tweets.
Lee’s movie is an adaptation of the ancient Greek satire Lysistrata, transplanted to modern Chicago’s South Side. In the film, the women of Chicago try to stop gun violence by practicing strict abstinence and withholding sex from the city’s men. Chance, who is from Chicago, blasted the film as “exploitative and problematic” on Twitter last year.
On March 3, Lee spoke at Northwestern University along with a screening of Chi-Raq. Students asked Lee about Chance’s criticisms, and according to Northwestern student magazine North by Northwestern, the director responded by calling the rapper a “straight-up fraud.”
“He puts himself up as a speaker of the people, but that means you have to put truths that you see,” Lee said. “That doesn’t mean you can pick and choose what you talk about.”
Lee has previously taken Chance to task over the fact that his father, Ken Bennett, works for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“First of all, Chance the Rapper should say, full disclosure, his father works for the mayor,” Lee said last year in response to Chance’s initial Twitter comments. “He’s the chief of staff, or whatever the title is. […] 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 findings will be surprising. He has not criticized the major. Why? His father works for the major.”
Chance himself often calls out Chicago’s gun violence in his music, and has used the Twitter hashtag #SaveChicago to help fight the city’s ever-rising murder rate. He was recently named a “Chicagoan of the Year” by Chicago magazine. The same magazine called New York native Lee’s Chi-Raq “a gross oversimplification of Chicago’s ails,” noting Chi-raq got several details about Chicago violence wrong.
Chi-raq was released in December, and received praise from Rev. Al Sharpton among others. “Let me say this: A lot of people always cause controversy when Spike comes out with something, and then you know it’s right,” Sharpton said at the film’s premiere in New York. “Martin Luther King said you don’t judge the character of a man by where he stands in the hours of convenience but where he stands in the hour of controversy.” Sharpton said he felt Chi-Raq would “bring a discussion that will save lives.”