Fans of the Barbershop series won't have to wait much longer for the fourth addition to the franchise. The latest sequel, Barbershop : The Next Cut opens the month and brings together a cast that includes some of hip-hop's finest, including Ice Cube, Common, Eve, and Nicki Minaj. Directed by The Best Man Holiday's Malcolm D. Lee, this film follows barbershop owner Calvin as he strides against the gang cultures of Chicago's South Side. Walking in the footsteps of Spike Lee's Chiraq , Next Cut attempts to address issues of gun violence and masculinity in a primarily black community.
The previous movies have received warm responses for their ability to blend humor into these serious conversations, although for those who haven't seen any of the Barbershop films, it might be difficult to imagine how challenging discussions about race, poverty, and warfare match up with punchlines. Yet critics have routinely embraced these stories, and while the jury is still out on how Barbershop: The Next Cut will fare in theaters, there are already rumblings about a fifth movie. As Ice Cube makes the press rounds, he's already suggested that there will be another Barbershop sequel.
In an interview with All HipHop , Ice Cube responded to a question about a Next Cut sequel, saying:
I think there is definitely more there. As long as there’s situations that people go through we can always highlight them and talk about them in Barbershop. And I still think Calvin – he was still trying to get out of there. He was still thinking about abandoning the neighborhood and going somewhere else and doing what most people do in these situations, so I still think he has some growing to do.
As a resident of Chicago, I am very interested in what this growth could look like. In reality, the South Side is ripe with possibility, so perhaps part of the movie could take place in the South Side Community Art Center, the country's oldest art center devoted to black art history. Maybe Calvin could join up with the Black Youth Project in organizing against police violence and institutionalized racism. Or perhaps he could work with the amazing queer women at the heart of Chicago's Black Lives Matter movement.
As Chicago continues to make headlines for good reasons and bad, here's hoping that another Barbershop movie could keep the theme of community organization moving forward.
Images: NewLine Cinema (2)