At a panel in Chicago, rappers Common and Ice Cube led a discussion on gun violence with protest organizers for a new special on VH1.
The town hall took place March 14 and is part of a new series called “Behind The…” which explores the intersection of pop culture and political issues. The special spotlights a variety of topics that young people are facing across the country, from relationships and artistic expression to gun violence, and the importance of barbershops to community activism.
The hip-hop performers, stars of the upcoming film Barbershop: The Next Cut, were just two of the celebrities who discussed the challenges of living on Chicago’s South Side with college students and grassroots organizers. Hip-hop artist Vic Mensa; “Black Ink Crew: Chicago” star Ryan Henry; and former principal of Chicago’s Fenger Academy High School Liz Dozier – who currently stars in “Chicagoland” – will appear in the episode, along with other stars of the Barbershop film. The show, hosted and produced by VH1 newcomer Sway Callaway, premieres at 10 p.m. on April 11, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Deadline reports the episode is titled Behind the Movie: Exploring Chicago with the Cast of Barbershop: The Next Cut, and Barbershop stars Anthony Anderson, Cedric The Entertainer, Deon Cole, Regina Hall, Eve and Nicki Minaj will all be featured in the episode.
“It is important to me that ‘Barbershop’ does more than entertain,” said Ice Cube – who also produces the movie – in a press release. “Along with comedy, the story touches on relationships and gang violence. This partnership with VH1 is the perfect way to expand this conversation.”
The Next Cut is the second sequel to the 2002 film Barbershop, which also starred Ice Cube, Cedric The Entertainer and Eve. The first sequel was Beauty Shop, a 2005 film starring Queen Latifah and Alicia Silverstone, according to Metacritic.
A preview of the inaugural episode of “Behind The…” can be seen below.