If you’re a suburban transplant with a trust fund, living in a predominantly ethnic NYC neighborhood in a rent-controlled apartment, Spike Lee has some choice words for you.

Last night, Pratt Institute welcomed Spike Lee as an honorary guest speaker. The event, which was suppose to delve into the cultural impact of Spike’s film career, took a sharp left turn when the moderator asked Spike for his opinion on the gentrification of his hometown – Brooklyn, New York. Spike let out a seven-minute long rant, claiming that the influx of “hipsters”…excuse me, I meant “motherfucking hipsters,” fleeing to urban NYC neighborhoods subsequently raises rent prices and forces out its original inhabitants.

“Why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the South Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better? Why did it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better? The garbage wasn’t picked up every motherfuckin’ day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. The police weren’t around… When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something.”

Spike’s rant is quite timely, as Harlem real estate prices are at an all-time high and much of Williamsburg is completely gentrified and more expensive to live in than some prime Manhattan locations.

Hear the full audio of Spike’s rant below:

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Jasmine Alyse

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