Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rhymefest for Alderman

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Grammy Award-winning rapped Che "Rhymefest" Smith announced Thursday morning he is running for alderman of the 20th Ward. (Published Thursday, Oct 21, 2010)

    Grammy Award-winning rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith announced Thursday morning he is running for alderman of the 20th Ward.

    "The definition of revolution is love," said Rhymefest, 33, as he spoke about his candidacy in emotional terms. "My name is Che. I was named Che by my mother and my father...I am a 3rd generation citizen of the 20th Ward."

    The 20th Ward includes the Englewood, Back of the Yards and Woodlawn neighborhoods. Smith is running against Ald. Willie Cochran.

    "This is the ward we are going to take back for the people who live here," Smith said. "We are the 20th Ward, and we will reclaim our grace. We don't have to reinvent the wheel, we just have to reinstate it."

    While mentioning residents by name and explaining their troubles, Smith said he would support local businesses and help the ward's youth find productive uses of their time.

    Smith also said he would use hip-hop as a way to support his message. Smith won a Grammy for his work on "Jesus Walks" with fellow Chicagoan Kanye West.

    "When Hip Hop first started, it started with a microphone and two speakers.  And here we are with a microphone and a camera and maybe a few speakers somewhere," he said.