Kanye West turned down leading role in Chi-Raq, Rhymefest claims. Rapper and Donda’s House creative director, Rhymefest phoned into Sway’s Universe yesterday (December 10) to voice his disapproval of Spike Lee’s newest film, Chi-Raq.
While criticizing the film, the musician revealed that both Kanye West and Common turned down the leading role in the movie because they felt the script was “wack.” According to Rhymefest, Chance The Rapper also turned down a role in the film.
“I can tell you who wasn’t in the movie,” Rhymefest said. “The guy who was supposed to play Chi-Raq was named Kanye West. When Kanye West read that script—Why wasn’t Kanye West in the movie? Cause the shit was wack. Yo, then he went to Common. ‘Common, get in the movie, man.’ Why wasn’t Common in the movie? Cause the shit was wack. So, the people who are closer to the streets and closer to understanding where we are in Chicago, declined to be in the movie. Does Spike Lee want to talk about why? When Kanye asked Spike Lee ‘Yo, can we get some Chicago writers on this, so we can have some more authentic voices?’ Spike Lee said ‘Nah, I just want you to act.’”
Twista, who also appeared on Sway’s Universe, offered his thoughts on the film. He explained that what concerns him the most about Chi-Raq, is that it’s dubbed a satire.
The rapper later elaborated on a comment Rhymefest made about the title of the film. According to Twista, people in Chicago were just beginning to put the Chi-Raq nickname behind them.
“A lot of the stuff Rhymefest was saying,” Twista said. “He was pretty much saying a lot of it. One of the main things I had a problem with was that it was a satire, instead of something serious. I felt like the city of Chicago deserved a good movie about something serious like that. Instead of something like a satire. And then just going back into the name Chi-Raq. We were just coming out of that vibe. Even the young cats themselves had decided to come out of the whole vibe of calling the city that. And he just resurrected that whole thing.”
Video of Rhymefest speaking on Kanye West and Common turning down roles in Chi-Raq can be found below.