“We Built It,” a documentary, film, and music video centered on African Americans’ contributions to the modern world, is set to premiere November 21st, 2020, at the Harper Theater in Chicago. “We Built It” takes an in-depth look into the inventions created by African Americans and why reparations are necessary.
Created by Chicago’s multi-creator Cheist Love. The film and music video component of “We Built It” is influenced by the current social injustice climate. “With everything happening in 2020, I didn’t want to go out and peaceful protest,” says Love. I wanted to find a different way to protest. I wanted to find another way for my voice to be heard.”
The music portion of “We Built It” features production from Grammy award-winning producer Percy Bady and three of Chicago’s most talented voices. Felica Patton, Mys Michelle, and Dhniera Blue. The overall message of “We Built It” brings into question. Where would the world be without African Americans’ inventions, Black culture, or Black creativity?”
“What if we came to where you stay. And took back everything we made? Then what? Where would the world be without us? So, because of that, we deserve reparations,” says Love.
Staring Mary Q. Angel, Nick Bravo, and Harper Anthony, the film, an extension of the music video, gives a visual answer to the question. What if we took back everything we made? With the country coming off the heels of a presidential election, which will determine the country’s fate, Love understands “We Built It” could add fuel to the fire that’s currently burning out of control. But he firmly stands on the message of his film. And although the film holds an element of controversy, the same cannot be said of the documentary.
Giving a behind the scene look at the development of “We Built It,” which features interviews from Congressmen, both Democratic and Republican, on the topic of reparations in addition to Trump supporters and noble Chicago figures, “We Built It” aims to educate those oblivious to the contributions African Americans made to modern society and why reparations are deserving. But what’s more intriguing about the documentary is that Love allows the world to see his personal life.
The documentary puts Cheist Love struggles on display as his 10-year-old son fights Pulmonary Atresia—a birth defect of the heart where the valve that controls blood flow from the heart to the lungs doesn’t form at all.
“While I’m making a song about fighting for our people and a movie about standing up, I’m fighting for my son’s life,” Love says. “You see him going into heart surgery. You see my personal battles. It’s so many layers to it, but it’s all a fight.”
Love brings multiple components to “We Built It.” Which makes it a unique viewing experience. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing what this docu-film has to offer. It appears the film gets to the nitty-gritty. Exploring both sides of the topic on reparations. And according to Love, no one will be the same after watching “We Built It.”
“I understand there is going to be pushback,” says Love. But I really wanted to bring this to the light. At the end of the day, it’s all about sparking conversation. It’s not about making someone feel a certain way. Feel the way you want. But at least be educated on who built this.”
The premiere of “We Built It” is not open for public viewing. The official release is scheduled for January 2021. Love hopes the premiere can raise $50,000 to be donated to the Chicago Public School system.
For updates and more information, visit Chiest Love’s official Instagram.
Ali is a freelance writer within the Black and Hip-Hop culture with featured articles in multiple publications. Follow his Instagram @Choose_Wisey2.