Story by Portia King
REVOLT recently had the chance to sit down with cast members of the newest addition to the Barbershop franchise, "Barbershop: The Next Cut." Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson and Deon Cole gathered at the renowned Hyde Park Hair Salon for a fan meet and greet. Hundreds of fans lined up outside the small and intimate salon, with a barbershop tour bus parked across the street providing free haircuts.
"We always love to come back and do Barbershop but we wanted to have a reason, we felt like with this one we had a great reason," Ice Cube told REVOLT. "It's not only funny but poignant. It's something the community will love."
With new additions to the cast, such as Nicky Minaj and Common, the story line picks up about 14 years from the last time we saw the Barbershop crew in 2004. The violence on the south side of Chicago has become overwhelming and completely out of hand. Calvin (Ice Cube) and his crew come together with a plan to save the community, the youth and the barbershop. While the plot and dialogue tackle various issues and concerns within the Black community, such as police brutality, politics, slut shaming and the lack of two parent households, there are also tons of laughs along the way.
"The barbershop is a place where so many different people in the community can come together, and you just in a zone where it's not about your job, it's not about your status," Cedric explained. "When you in here, you just another person getting a haircut. It allows you to be a banker, it allows you to be a school teacher, just somebody in the 'hood trying to get it. You equal in the barbershop."
The film paid tribute to Chicago culture by including prideful features, such as Urban Prep Academy High School, where for the past seven years, 100 percent of the students graduated and were accepted into a college or university, and the players of the Jackie Robinson Little League team, who’s national title was revoked due to minuscule accusations.
Following the recent release of Spike Lee’s film, "Chi-Raq," which faced heavy criticism from local natives as Lee sought to highlight the violence and senseless killings taking place in Chicago, it will be interesting to see the city’s take on the plot and story line of Cube’s latest film.
"Barbershop: The Next Cut" is in theaters April 15, 2016.