Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicago Tribune-Rock The Mic; Rhymefest Running For Alderman

Che "Rhymefest" Smith, 33, talking to supporters on the South Side of Chicago, in his run for alderman in the 20th Ward: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune
(Story Duaa Eldeib for the Chicago Tribune)

 In the garage of a local auto detailing shop, Grammy Award-winning rapper Che "Rhymefest" Smith announced this morning he is running for alderman of the 20th Ward.

The third-generation South Sider spoke about his candidacy in artistic terms.

"The definition of revolution is love," began Smith, 33.

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.

(Click here to read the full story on the Chicago Tribune website.)

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