NEW YORK – VH1 is partnering with hip hop legend and producer Ice Cube and Chicago native and Academy Award-winning artist Common, for a one-of-kind community town hall in Chicago. The special “Behind The Movie: ‘Exploring Chicago with the Cast of ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’”will premiere Monday, April 11 at 10 PM on VH1.
Set at a local college, the special spotlights a variety of topics that young people are facing across the country ranging from relationships and artistic expression to gun violence, and the importance of barbershops to community activism.Common and Ice Cube along with VH1’s Sway Calloway will lead a dialogue with local college students and grassroots organizers, most of whom have been impacted personally by gun violence.
The program will also include segments where the superstars visit a local barbershop and other Chicago South Side locations to discuss challenges living in the city. Also appearing in the special are:
- Liz Dozier, acclaimed former Chicago high school principal and “Chicagoland” star
- RyanHenry from VH1’s “Black Ink Crew: Chicago” whose tattoo shop is a legacy to his late sister and niece
- Vic Mensa, Chicago hip hop performer who keeps his hometown’s challenges in his art
- Anthony Anderson, Cedric The Entertainer, Deon Cole, Regina Hall as well as Eve and Nicki Minaj who all co-star with Ice Cube and Common in the April 15th release “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures , New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures.
“It is important to me that ‘Barbershop’ does more than entertain,” said the film's star and producer Ice Cube. “Along with comedy, the story touches on relationships and gang violence. This partnership with VH1 is the perfect way to expand this conversation.”
The special is the inaugural episode of VH1’s new “Behind The…” series which will explore all facets of pop culture and its intersection with current cultural and political issues. The series is hosted and produced by new VH1 personality Sway Calloway.
“Pop culture has the power to broaden conversations that are central to our audience,” said Amy Doyle, Executive Vice President/Deputy General Manager, VH1 & Logo. “With Ice Cube and Common, two of the most important voices in hip hop and entertainment, this town hall will bring national attention to issues that affect communities across the country.”
Coodie Simmons, Chicago-born director who along with Chike Ozah directed the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Benji” about murdered Chicago high school basketball player Ben Wilson, will serve as creative consultant. Jason Rzepka, Director of Cultural Engagment for Everytown for Gun Safety, is also a creative partner.
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“Behind The Movie: Exploring Chicago with the Cast of ‘Barbershop: The Next Cut’” is executive produced by Chris McCarthy, Amy Doyle, Ryan Kroft, and Sway Calloway. Matt Harper is Producer for VH1. Elena Diaz is Talent Producer.