Hip-hopper Che "Rhymefest" Smith is getting a lot of outside support in his bid for 20th ward alderman.
P-funker George Clinton put on fundraising concert. Fellow hip-hopper Lupe Fiasco has given his support. And on Jan. 6 renowned public intellectual Cornel West came to Chicago to praise the Grammy-winning Smith.
There was a breakfast, lunch, education forum at Kennedy-King College and a private fundraiser at a Hyde Park home. The latter is where I caught up with West.
"It's very important to support our young leadership," West told me. "Chicago is on the cutting edge of movements - politically, musically and culturally." Smith and West first met when the rapper worked on the scholar's album in 2006.
"There are so few people or leaders who are not up for sale," West said. The advice he's given his mentee? "Put love at the center of it.