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Election 2011 Tue Oct 19 2010

Alderman Rhymefest?

One Monday hip hop artist Che "Rhymefest" Smith teased a "big announcement" at 10:30am this Thursday, Oct. 21, at Exclusively Yours Auto Spa, 5820 S. State St.

The video all but says he's running against Willie Cochran for alderman in the 20th Ward, and Smith has been coy about what he's announcing. But he proclaimed his candidacy Oct. 9 at a hip hop festival in Atlanta (see below). "I'm from a community named Englewood," Smith told the audience. "This is the same neighborhood where Jennifer Hudson's parents and people got killed. I'm from the fifth most violent ward in the city. And in that ward, in that district, I'm currently running for City Council."

"I want to let you know, y'all see me drinking, hanging and all like that, but I'm in my right mind. I see what shorties need. We need jobs, we need re-education, because the education we got ain't hot, and we need our police, we need mentors. When I was growing up, grown men used to go out and play football with the kids on the block. They're not doin' that no more. People go to work, they come home, they're like, 'I ain't got time to deal with nothin' but me and mine.' But you gotta realize your village is you and yours. And that's, hopefully, why the next element of hip hop is political power."

Smith is already listed as a candidate for his upcoming appearance on Mark Bazer's Interview Show. Consider this ward battle joined.

UPDATE 10/21: As expected, Smith has announced his candidacy.

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It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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