October 2010

Chicago

Rhymefest Officially Announces Candidacy For Alderman

Che “Rhymefest” Smith (how you can refer to him these days, okay!) released an announcement video a few days ago, but today he made it official – he’s running for 20th Ward Alderman. 

via Chicago Breaking News

The 20th Ward includes the Woodlawn, Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods. Ald. Willie Cochran is seeking re-election there.

Smith said his vision for the ward includes an engaged community in which small business owners would be able to expand, youth would find productive ways to fill their time and elders would be sought out for their wisdom.

“The wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented,” Smith said. “It just has to be reinstated.”

For too long, the community has struggled, he said.

“Our businesses don’t need to just survive,” he said. “They need to thrive.”

Smith said he will use hip hop as a tool and call on the likes of Kanye West and Common to support his message — even if it means asking then to open up businesses in the neighborhood.

“It shouldn’t be hard here to help people,” said Smith, who won a Grammy for co-writing West’s “Jesus Walks.”

Smith’s announcement was preceded a few days ago by a YouTube video that hinted of his run. On Thursday, Smith was surrounded by community residents and his family, including his grandmother and 12-year-old son, Solomon, and 2-year-old daughter, Amirah.

“We are the 20th Ward,” Smith said.

What does this mean for the BLX (‘Fest, Mikkey, Juice & Twone Gabz) project these guys have been hard at work on?

Andrew Barber 5