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Rhymefest Hints at Political Office Run in Chicago


Back in June, Chicago rapper and Kanye West associate Rhymefest had some tough words about his local government. The rapper accused the Windy City’s politicians of corruption and advocated for increased attention to the poor. Now, perhaps taking a cue from Wyclef Jean, Fest, real name Che Smith, wants to take things a step further. According to a claim from SOHH, the ‘Jesus Walks’ co-writer has confirmed that he will announce a legitimate run for political office on October 15. As of now, that office is being kept a secret.

“Rhymefest will put down the microphone and try his hand at politics this year in his hometown,” says the website’s report. “Fest informed [us] that a formal announcement would be made around October 15th, revealing what political office seat he is pursuing in the Windy City.”

If his lyrics and recent interviews are any indication, it appears that the rapper is taking a populist bent in his views. Rhymefest used the placement of cameras that bust drivers for running red lights as an example of the city’s poor and prejudiced use of resources.

“Over in Bridgeport, they don’t have those red light cameras, but up and down Stony Island you got them, policing the poorest of the people — and the city, they do it because they can,” Rhymefest told the Chicago Reader. “They can do it because we feel helpless. We don’t demand anything because we feel helpless, and so public officials can get away with it. This city is mistreating its citizens. I know I’m a rapper — maybe this is not in my pay grade, or my academic or political capacity — but I know what I see. I know when I am cheated and how it feels.”

One position that’s open for Rhymefest to consider: mayor. After more that two decades in office Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley will not be running for re-election next term. However Rhymefest would have some stiff competition as White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel just announced his bid for the seat.

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