Rap veteran Nas has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the new Django Unchained movie, specifically, whether moviemaker Spike Lee has a point in blasting its ample usage of the N-word.
Nas, who wanted to name 2008’s Untitled the N-word, could not comprehend Spike’s issues with fellow director Quentin Tarantino‘s script.
“I didn’t see what the big fuss was about,” he said matter-of-factly, pointing out that the term worked in the context of a Spaghetti Western revisiting the horrors of slavery, from a director known for his “language” and “goriness.” “It’s a movie, movies by [Tarantino], why should we be surprised if the movie is raw? … He’s one of the greatest filmmakers of our generation, and we don’t go there to see anything less than rawness. He’s an artist, and artists have to express themselves.” (MTV)
Fellow hip-hop veteran Uncle Luke publicly blasted Lee in an open blog post this week.
“Screw Spike Lee. Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is a brilliant flick that more accurately depicts the African American experience than any of the 15 movies about black culture Lee’s directed in his lifetime. It’s why the movie took home a Golden Globe award for best screenplay over the weekend and why it was recently nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Since Django Unchained hit the theaters, Lee has been publicly trashing Tarantino. In announcing his personal boycott of the movie, the Do The Right Thing filmmaker tweeted, “American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western,” and “It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.” (Miami New Times)
Renowned activist/author Dick Gregory has also come to Tarantino’s defense in light of Spike’s stance.
“I’ve seen Django Unchained, I’ve seen that 12 times. Never in the history of Hollywood, have they ever made anything that freed the inside of me. The inside. I’m 80 years-old, I saw cowboy movies, wasn’t no Black folks in cowboy movies. I’m looking at a Western, plus a love story. To those of you all that see it, you’ll never see a love story about a Black man and a Black woman where it wasn’t some foul sex and foul language, huh. And Spike Lee can’t appreciate that. That little thug ain’t even seen the movie, he’s acting like he’s White.” (We All Be TV)
Recently, Chicago rapper Rhymefest chopped it up with SOHH and weighed in on the controversy.
“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. 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.” (SOHH Guest Star)