Amid the scrum for Chicago’s mayoral throne, much less ink has been spilled about the aldermanic races. And judging from a YouTube video released today, one of the more interesting candidates could come from the South Side’s 20th Ward.
That would be Che “Rhymefest” Smith, a Grammy Award-winning rapper who co-wrote the Kanye West hit “Jesus Walks.” Smith, a Chicago native and community activist, said on his YouTube announcement: “Chicago’s 20th ward … with your help … we can develop … we can rebuild … we can grow the community … we can unify.” A news conference is scheduled for Thursday morning.
When reached by the Tribune, Smith was coy about what the news conference entails, but said with a laugh, “I’m gonna be announcing my candidacy for something.”
The 20th Ward includes the Woodlawn, Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods. Ald. Willie Cochran is seeking re-election there.
Smith, known for political and civic awareness in his music, famously met with now-British prime minister David Cameron in 2006 to discuss the role of violence in hip hop music.