Guest Star: "I Don't Think Black Filmmakers Can Make Good Movies About Slavery. I Don't Think It's Possible"
Monday, Jan 7, 2013 2:27PM
[With the buzz behind director Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained stirring up, outspoken Chicago rap veteran Rhymefest weighs in on the Spike Lee debate over its content.]
Spike Lee is a hero. I can't take that away from him. I can't away that Spike Lee will go down in Black American History and will go down in film history, no matter what color you are, as a hero.
I think sometimes with our heroes, they don't know when they've won. I think Spike Lee, you can ruin your legacy by not understanding when you've won. See, when Jesse Jackson freed those prisoners from Iraq and he ran for president and opened the door for Barack Obama, he won. He just didn't know it. He felt like he lost.
He didn't have to win the election. Jesse Jackson registered more people to vote than anybody in the history of our country. He registered over a million people to vote, individually. He was a hero and he ruined it because he didn't know that he won.
I think that sometimes you got to know when you've won. And I think Spike Lee won but he's ruining his win. Now he's putting himself in a position where he's going to have to win again.
Furthermore, make some good a** movies and show "us" how it's done. I'm going to tell you something. I don't think black filmmakers can make good movies about slavery. I don't think it's possible. I think we're too close to it.
You can [quote me]. A lot of people are going to hate that. Some subjects, as black people, we get so emotional about things that we don't think about the artistic entertainment value of it as well as the historic accuracy of it.
Now I know what some people are going to say. "Well, why don't you think about the entertainment value of Chief Keef or this one or that one? Why's everything in rap gotta be this way?"
That's not what I'm saying. The difference in rap and movies is, because rappers like to always compare things to movies, it's that rappers go out and tell people it's real. Rappers go out and say, "I'm going to go out and do this! If you roll up on me, n*gga, I will shoot you! It's for real!" And so young people look at it and don't know no better, and don't talk about parents because ain't no parents there, daddy's in jail and mama's f*cking and sucking d*ck because of all the raps she's heard, there ain't no parent.
That's f*cked up but that's the way it is. Shorties are orphans, they're raising themselves. So, what shorties get from that is it's real. "If he said it and he did all this sh*t to make it, then I got to do that sh*t." The difference is in movies, this is acting n*gga. You're not in slavery. They say that it's a movie, they say that it's fictional. Rappers act like it's really real.
Lil Jon don't let nobody know he's got a degree and I love Lil Jon. Ludacris doesn't let anybody know about his education, not that Luda is one of those type rappers because he's not. Lil Wayne doesn't talk about going to Texas state university, they don't talk about what's really real but they act like it's real.
So rappers can never compare rap's entertainment value to movies because it ain't movies. They're really cooning. That's my opinion.
The Chicago, IL-based Rhymefest first gained national attention as the co-songwriter of Kanye West's Grammy-winning "Jesus Walks." His association withWest actually went back several years prior; the MC's independently released Raw Dawg, issued in 2001, was produced entirely by a pre-fame West. Later signed to Mark Ronson's J-distributed Allido label, Rhymefest put together Blue Collar for a March 2006 release date. Its first single, "Brand New," also featured production work from West, as well as extensive assistance from No I.D.(Common, G-Unit).