Spike Lee is getting mixed reviews on his new feature film “Chi-Raq.” Lil Herb has repeatedly been asked his thoughts on the film project during recent interviews.
Herb questioned if Spike would make a film similar to Chiraq about his hometown of Brooklyn during an interview with A Plus of Hot 104.1 St. Louis.
Herb opened up on his feelings regarding the project during his recent interview with HipHopDX. Herb stuck with his initial stance that he didn’t want to feed into project, but did offer some insight into Spike Lee’s project should focus on.
“…With the whole “Chi-Raq” sh*t, I never really fed into it because I don’t know if the movie and the concept are speaking on what we’ve been through and try to change it or is it just to highlight some bullsh*t,” Herb told HipHopDX. “If it ain’t about helping Chicago, putting money into Chicago kids and the youth and to be better, know better and do better then I’m not really trying to feed into it ’cause that’s really the problem in Chicago. The youth, like, 8-year-old kids getting shot and sh*t. That’s not what’s up you feel me? That sh*t is f----- up.
Herb said children are truly victimized in his environment due to being stripped of their innocence at an early age.
Kids, he said, “should have a better future.”
“They shouldn’t have to jump off the porch at ten years old and gotta [go] gang bang and sell drugs. That ain’t what’s up, and if that ain’t really about what you speaking on, what’s going on and how bad it is, and you’re not trying to better the situation or help the kids, that’s a problem.”
Herb stated he respects Spike Lee, but he’s not going to support his project if it’s not bettering his hometown.
“If you put a camera in my face and ask me what I’ve been through I won’t wanna speak on that because I’ve been through some serious sh*t,” he said. “People done died behind what I’ve been through. People done went to jail behind what I been through. It’s not nothing to talk about or write an article on if you’re not talking about bettering the situation or helping. [If you’re not], then don’t come ask me nothin’. It’s not entertainment for the rest of the world. These kids out here are killing each other, gang banging playing with guns, hell no I don’t respect that.”
Herb briefly elaborated on similar thoughts during an interview with Sway In The Morning revealing he had not yet even seen the trailer.
“I ain’t seen the trailer yet. I been seeing a lot of feedback on Instagram from a lot of people. I don’t know what the trailer was too much about. It was kinda like bad feedback,” he said. “My opinion on the movie – cause I don’t know the basis of what it’s about or what he covering – but I just feel like if it ain’t really about… because it’s a real problem in Chicago, and it’s with the youths. If it ain’t about making a difference or coming to change… because I come from youth centers and stuff like that. That’s what I did to keep myself out of trouble. That’s what I plan on doing to reach out to the shorties when I get to a certain point in my career for where I can do that. If the movie ain’t about making a difference, I don’t want to feed too much into it. …Even if he reached out to me to be a part of it – if it wasn’t the right concept – I wasn’t interested in it really.”
Lil Herb also responded to a fan’s question on Twitter regarding his thoughts on the project.
“Regardless To How I Feel Good Or Bad.. It’s Not Gone Stop The Movie From Comin Out And It’s Not Gone Pay Me,” he wrote.
Regardless To How I Feel Good Or Bad.. It's Not Gone Stop The Movie From Comin Out And It's Not Gone Pay Me https://t.co/fCPdIukW7X
— IG:@NOLIMITHERBO (@gherbo) November 10, 2015
Spike Lee has been battling criticism he received for what many felt was an unimpressive film trailer.
Spike explained his reasoning for including comedic scenes in his film:
“A trailer was released and there are very humorous moments in the trailer. Now some people are getting it twisted and thinking it’s a comedy. ‘Chi-Raq’ is not a comedy. ‘Chi-Raq’ is a satire. It’s a difference between humor and comedy. In no way, shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that is happening in Chi-Raq. In no way, shape or form are we making light of the lives that have been murdered with this senseless violence, so people don’t get it twisted, this film is about serious business. There’s many films we can look in history of American cinema that treated very serious subject matter and had humor in them. There’s an old statement: I gotta laugh to keep from crying. Well, I think that’s appropriate with ‘Chi-Raq.’”
Amazon is set to premier Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” a musical comedy starring Nick Cannon, Wesley, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, on Dec. 4, according to Entertainment Weekly. The company has brought in Roadside Attraction and Lionsgate to get the film premiered in major cities, according to deadline.com.
“I’m honored to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important,” Lee said in a statement to EW. “Please don’t be fooled by the title of Chiraq. This new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. We have assembled a stellar cast.”
Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” according to IMDB, is “a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago.”
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