Rhymefest Cleared to Run for Chicago Alderman
Since announcing his run for office back in October, Rhymefest has been hit with hurdles, from opponents calling him out for his hip-hop ties to questioning his eligibility to become an alderman. Now the rhymer, born Che Smith, can focus more on his political platform after officials cleared him to run for the position in Chicago's 20th Ward.
The 'El Che' creator, who will run in the February election, was granted clearance by the Chicago Board of Elections. Prior to the announcement, the rap star's eligibility to appear on a ballot was questioned by opponents claiming he did not meet Chicago's residency requirements.
"After all my opponents have attempted to do in the name of politics like challenging my name on the ballot we continue [to] overcome!" Rhymefest tweeted.
While the rapper has his share of foes, there are also loyal supporters in his corner. Princeton University professor Dr. Cornel West backs Rhymefest's political agendas and has even served as a headliner for several fundraisers Rhymefest has put together to raise money for those in need.
"I am in his corner 155 percent on a scale of 100," West states. "He has been fundamentally concerned with how to serve the people -- you can serve artistically, religiously, politically."
During the months of November and December, Rhymefest helped feed residents in need on the Southside of Chicago. He also launched the literacy program Catch People Reading (CPR), which encourages Chicago youth to read.