Spike Lee's Chi-Raq movie has been catching criticism since its inception. Following the release of the movie's trailer, the New York-bred director recently responded to bad press from Chicago rappers including Lil Durk and Lil Bibby.
On Thursday (Nov. 5), Lee posted a video on Vimeo addressing his critics.
"The trailer was released and there's very humorous moments in the trailer," he said. "Some people are going to twist it and think that this is a comedy. Chi-Raq is not a comedy. Chi-Raq is a satire. And there's a difference between satire and comedy."
As noted by HipHopDX, the film is an adaptation of the Greek play Lysistrata set in inner-city Chicago. Chi-Raq stars Teyonah Parris as a woman who protests black-on-black gun violence by going on a sex strike. The Illinois city is sometimes referred to as "Chi-Raq" because of its high crime rates, which have been compared to those of war zones in Iraq.
Lee went on to denounce speculation that his film is making light of the dangerous and often times tragic ongoings of the city.
"In no way, shape or form are we not respectful of the situation that is happening in Chi-Raq," Lee continued. "In no way, shape or form are we making fun of the lives that have been murdered with this senseless violence. So people, don't get it twisted. Don't get it twisted, this film is about serious business. There's many films and we can look in the history of American cinema that treated very serious subject matter and had humor in them. This whole statement, 'I gotta laugh to keep from crying,' I think that's apropos with Chi-Raq."
After watching the trailer, Durk and Bibby took to social media to slam the movie depicting their hometown. Both shared negative views, calling the film a "parody" and a "prank."
Vince Staples also chimed in, poking fun at Nick Cannon's role.
"This Chiraq trailer is jokes Spike Lee is coocoo for cocoa puffs," he tweeted. "They gave Nick Cannon a burner this is about to be interesting."
Rhymefest expressed his disapproval by saying "a comedy is being made about death in Chicago."
Back in July, it was revealed that Chi-Raq will be the first movie to debut from Amazon Studios.
Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Angela Bassett, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix and Steve Harris also star in the upcoming film.
Chi-Raq is set to hit theaters on Dec. 4.