WBEZ | Che Smith http://www.wbez.org/tags/che-smith Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Long Hot Summer: The tension between hip hop and violence http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-tension-between-hip-hop-and-violence-101110 <p><p><em>Summer after summer, Chicagoans are consumed by violence and a seemingly exponential murder rate. And, it seems, summer after summer, we talk about the need for whole families, better education, jobs and police boots on the ground&mdash;yet, the cycle continues. This year, </em>Afternoon Shift <em>hopes to move beyond the headlines in hopes of better understanding the violence&mdash;it roots and possible remedy&mdash;through frank, forward-thinking, holistic conversations in a series we&rsquo;re calling, </em>Long Hot Summer.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chiefkeef1.jpg" title="Chief Keef" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="125" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F53856981&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;color=ff7700" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Hip hop and violence often intersect. Theirs is a tense and complicated dance where no one leads&mdash;either component can serve as a catalyst or outlet for the other. And Chicago now finds itself at the epicenter of violence and mainstream hip hop&mdash;the city&rsquo;s street sound is getting serious, unprecedented play as the murder rate climbs. Chicago has certainly produced marquee artists in the past&mdash;the Windy City is, after all, the home of Kanye, Common and Lupe Fiasco, to name a few. But artists from Chicago have typically been associated with rap&#39;s indie and conscious styles. In other words, Chicago has never had its street moment&mdash;until now.</p><p>As cheap internet access became readily available in Chicago&rsquo;s poorest neighborhoods, young artists came online in droves. They flooded YouTube with their rhymes and homemade music videos; they took to Twitter and Facebook en masse. Suddenly, sending a tape to Kanye wasn&rsquo;t the only option.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/ChiefKeef" target="_blank">Chief Keef</a> is arguably the biggest name in Chicago hip hop right now. The internet sensation&rsquo;s breakout video, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WcRXJ4piHg" target="_blank">&ldquo;I Don&rsquo;t Like,&rdquo;</a> at press time, had nearly 9.5 million views on YouTube. He <a href="http://www.fakeshoredrive.com/2012/06/chief-keef-gets-gbe-imprint-movie-deal-beats-by-keef-headphones.html/" target="_blank">reportedly</a> signed a deal with Interscope Records worth millions in June. Freelance writer <a href="http://www.spin.com/articles/chicago-rap-blazes-streets?page=0" target="_blank">David Drake recently profiled</a> Keef and other up-and-coming Chicago artists for <em>SPIN</em>.</p><p>&ldquo;Much of what has made Keef&#39;s controversial music resonate so widely throughout the city is that his young age and seemingly reckless lyrics &mdash; dense with references to local sets, cliques, neighborhoods, and gangs &mdash; appear to epitomize this very sense of having lost control of the younger generation,&rdquo; Drake wrote.</p><p>That uncontrolled, reckless vibe that&#39;s resonating amongst Chicago&rsquo;s young emcees is what concerns veterans like <a href="http://www.elchethemovement.com/" target="_blank">Che &quot;Rhymefest&quot; Smith</a>. The hip-hop artist and activist, who shares a Grammy with Kanye West, considers it a personal responsibility to educate younger generations about the potential impact of music&mdash;that rhymes can be used as a tool or a weapon. And he has no patience for the latter.</p><p>Rhymefest is hoping to drown out the negative notes with theme songs for life. In an effort to stem the violence in Chicago through music, his foundation, Power of Purpose, has teamed up with the Black Youth Project to provide a platform for positive plays. <a href="http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2012/07/calling-all-artists-sumbit-music-to-the-pledge-mixtape/" target="_blank">The Pledge Mixtape</a> will be a 13-song CD comprised of songs from various local artists hoping to take back their communal power through music. Artists like Mikkey Halstead, K. Fox and Rhymefest himself will provide tracks to bring attention to the tunes&mdash;but will they grab 9.5-million-views-type attention?</p><p>Rhymefest joins host Steve Edwards, music writer Jessica Hopper, Pastor Phil Jackson and emcee Teh&rsquo;Ray &quot;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/PHENOM/169023961506" target="_blank">Phenom</a>&quot; Hale for an hour-long discussion about the relationship between hip hop and violence. <em>Afternoon Shift</em> will also hear from up-and-coming emcee, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/chancetherapper" target="_blank">Chance the Rapper</a>. To join the conversation, call <strong>(312) 923-9239</strong> or chime in on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23AfternoonShift" target="_blank">#AfternoonShift.</a></p></p> Mon, 23 Jul 2012 12:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/long-hot-summer-tension-between-hip-hop-and-violence-101110 New video! Alderman Ed Bus: How to raise big campaign cash (featuring Rhymefest) http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-05/new-video-alderman-ed-bus-how-raise-big-campaign-cash-featuring-rhym <p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mq5GInPr0NM" title="YouTube video player" width="500" frameborder="0" height="311"></iframe></p><p>This new Alderman Ed Bus video was ready a few hours ago, but I wanted to wait so I wouldn't persuade voters of the 20th Ward to vote for Rhymefest based on his funny cameo. Because of the 500 +/- voters who voted today in the 20th Ward, you KNOW half of those are ardent fans of the Justin Kaufmann blog and would run out and vote for him because of this performance. Riiigggght.</p><p>But we did our due diligence. Now that the polls are closed, we bring you a video of our <a href="http://www.53rdward.com">favorite Alderman Ed Bus (53rd)</a> making a surprise appearance at Che "Rhymefest" Smith's campaign office. Bus is endorsing Rhymefest. Not because he cares about his politics, but more because he wants the 20th Ward jobs. He has a few cousins that he can't fit on the 53rd Ward payroll.</p><p>This is directed by local fillmmaker Charley Rivkin. Charley brings a new life to Alderman Bus, by coaxing out Bus' wild side. And he gives Bus and Rhymefest a cinematic joyride down 80's music video memory lane. Enjoy.</p></p> Tue, 05 Apr 2011 23:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-05/new-video-alderman-ed-bus-how-raise-big-campaign-cash-featuring-rhym South Side Aldermanic Races http://www.wbez.org/story/3rd-ward/south-side-aldermanic-races <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/4704712869_eaf3ca8414_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated At: 11:35&nbsp; </em>Among the Election Day highlights on the city's South Side: Ald. Freddrenna Lyle will face challenger Roderick Sawyer in an April runoff in Chicago's 6th Ward, while&nbsp;Grammy-award winning rapper Che &quot;Rhymefest&quot; Smith has made it into a runoff race for a Chicago City Council seat. With all precincts reporting, the rapper had 20 percent of the vote, trailing incumbent Alderman Willie Cochran, who had 46 percent.&nbsp; There will also be runoffs in the 15th and 16th wards.</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 2</strong></p><p>55 of 56 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Bob Fioretti, (i) 7,836 - 55 percent</p><p>Genita Robinson, 4,442 - 31 percent</p><p>Enrique Perez, 640 - 4 percent</p><p>Melissa Callahan, 634 - 4 percent</p><p>Federico Sciammarella, 616 - 4 percent</p><p>James Bosco, 157 - 1 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 3</strong></p><p>47 of 50 precincts - 94 percent</p><p>Pat Dowell, (i) 5,758 - 68 percent</p><p>Ebony Tillman, 2,756 - 32 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 4</strong></p><p>46 of 52 precincts - 88 percent</p><p>Will Burns, 7,456 - 65 percent</p><p>Lori Yokoyama, 1,104 - 10 percent</p><p>Norman Bolden, 1,077 - 9 percent</p><p>Brian Scott, 803 - 7 percent</p><p>George Rumsey, 576 - 5 percent</p><p>Adam Miguest, 348 - 3 percent</p><p>James Williams, 161 - 1 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 5</strong></p><p>55 of 55 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Leslie Hairston, (i) 7,217 - 62 percent</p><p>Anne Marie Miles, 2,489 - 21 percent</p><p>Glenn Ross, 826 - 7 percent</p><p>Carol Hightower Chalmers, 701 - 6 percent</p><p>Michele Tankersley, 451 - 4 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 6</strong></p><p>63 of 64 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Freddrenna Lyle, (i) 6,573 - 45 percent</p><p>Roderick Sawyer, 3,689 - 25 percent</p><p>Richard Wooten, 2,893 - 20 percent</p><p>Cassandra Goodrum-Burton, 940 - 6 percent</p><p>Sekum Walker, 337 - 2 percent</p><p>Brian Sleet, 303 - 2 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 7</strong></p><p>61 of 61 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Sandi Jackson, (i) 6,506 - 53 percent</p><p>Darcel Beavers, 3,223 - 26 percent</p><p>Gregory Mitchell, 1,542 - 13 percent</p><p>Lionell Martin, 467 - 4 percent</p><p>Deborah Washington, 334 - 3 percent</p><p>Sidney Brooks, 179 - 1 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 8</strong></p><p>66 of 70 precincts - 94 percent</p><p>Michelle Harris, (i) 9,789 - 68 percent</p><p>Faheem Shabazz, 2,082 - 15 percent</p><p>James Daniels, 1,752 - 12 percent</p><p>Bertha Starks, 682 - 5 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 9</strong></p><p>52 of 53 precincts - 98 percent</p><p>Anthony Beale, (i) 6,201 - 58 percent</p><p>Harold Ward, 1,946 - 18 percent</p><p>Sandra Walters, 1,751 - 16 percent</p><p>Eddie Reed, 780 - 7 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 10</strong></p><p>48 of 48 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>John Pope, (i) 6,298 - 59 percent</p><p>Richard Martinez, 3,801 - 36 percent</p><p>Joseph Nasella, 421 - 4 percent</p><p>Jose Leon, 110 - 1 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 11</strong></p><p>50 of 50 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>James Balcer, (i) 6,712 - 61 percent</p><p>John Kozlar, 2,449 - 22 percent</p><p>Carl Segvich, 1,787 - 16 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 12</strong></p><p>24 of 24 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>George Cardenas, (i) 2,680 - 55 percent</p><p>Jose Guereca, 911 - 19 percent</p><p>Jesse Iniguez, 796 - 16 percent</p><p>Alberto Bocanegra, 321 - 7 percent</p><p>Maria Ortiz, 137 - 3 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 15</strong></p><p>52 of 52 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Toni Foulkes, (i) 3,088 - 44 percent</p><p>Raymond Lopez, 1,042 - 15 percent</p><p>Harold Bailey, 765 - 11 percent</p><p>Sammy Pack, 730 - 10 percent</p><p>Felicia Simmons-Stovall, 573 - 8 percent</p><p>Syron Smith, 415 - 6 percent</p><p>Sandra Mallory, 368 - 5 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 16</strong></p><p>44 of 44 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>JoAnn Thompson, (i) 2,626 - 43 percent</p><p>Hal Baskin, 1,367 - 23 percent</p><p>Eric Hermosillo, 957 - 16 percent</p><p>Javier Diaz, 269 - 4 percent</p><p>Eddie Johnson, 211 - 3 percent</p><p>Tameka Gavin, 204 - 3 percent</p><p>Ronald Mitchell, 196 - 3 percent</p><p>Jonathan Stamps, 128 - 2 percent</p><p>Jeffrey Lewis, 93 - 2 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 17</strong></p><p>57 of 64 precincts - 89 percent</p><p>Latasha Thomas, (i) 4,380 - 49 percent</p><p>David Moore, 1,696 - 19 percent</p><p>Antoine Members, 1,002 - 11 percent</p><p>Ronald Carter, 518 - 6 percent</p><p>Michael Daniels, 442 - 5 percent</p><p>Twaundella Taylor, 349 - 4 percent</p><p>Paulette Coleman, 273 - 3 percent</p><p>Virgil Means, 219 - 2 percent</p><p><br /><strong>Alderman Ward 18</strong></p><p>62 of 62 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Lona Lane, (i) 7,774 - 51 percent</p><p>Chuks Onyezia, 2,450 - 16 percent</p><p>Joseph Ziegler, 2,255 - 15 percent</p><p>Michael Davis, 2,163 - 14 percent</p><p>Manny Roman, 711 - 5 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 19</strong></p><p>63 of 63 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Matthew O'Shea, 14,426 - 61 percent</p><p>Anne Schaible, 6,526 - 28 percent</p><p>Phillip Sherlock, 1,315 - 6 percent</p><p>George Newell, 725 - 3 percent</p><p>Ray Coronado, 592 - 3 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 20</strong></p><p>50 of 50 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Willie Cochran, (i) 3,403 - 46 percent</p><p>Che Smith, 1,469 - 20 percent</p><p>George Davis, 1,201 - 16 percent</p><p>Andre Smith, 1,079 - 15 percent</p><p>Sid Shelton, 241 - 3 percent</p><p><strong><br />Alderman Ward 21</strong></p><p>70 of 74 precincts - 95 percent</p><p>Howard Brookins, (i) 8,004 - 56 percent</p><p>Sheldon Sherman, 2,797 - 19 percent</p><p>Patricia Foster, 1,706 - 12 percent</p><p>Sylvia Jones, 1,537 - 11 percent</p><p>Jerome Maddox, 309 - 2 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 23</strong></p><p>54 of 54 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Michael Zalewski, (i) 8,581 - 53 percent</p><p>Anna Goral, 5,511 - 34 percent</p><p>Chuck Maida, 2,231 - 14 percent</p><p><strong><br /></strong></p><p><strong>Alderman Ward 34</strong></p><p>61 of 61 precincts - 100 percent</p><p>Carrie Austin, (i) 9,170 - 65 percent</p><p>Henry Moses, 2,123 - 15 percent</p><p>Shirley White, 1,533 - 11 percent</p><p>Burl McQueen, 659 - 5 percent</p><p>Michael Mayden, 618 - 4 percent</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Updated At: 9:35 p.m.&nbsp; </em>Grammy-winning hip-hopper Che &ldquo;Rhymefest&rdquo; Smith appears to have forced a runoff in the 20th Ward. Incumbent Ald. Willie Cochran has a substantial lead, but he has so far drawn less than 50 percent of the vote. Here's the latest look at numbers from South Side aldermanic races:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Updated At 8:30 p.m.&nbsp;&nbsp;</em>A runoff appears likely in Chicago's 6th Ward. Here are the numbers in that race, with 91 percent of precincts reporting:</p><p>Here's a look at some of the races WBEZ is focusing on:</p><p><strong>3rd Ward</strong><br />Ald. Pat Dowell was elected in 2007, replacing longtime Ald. Dorothy Tillman. Tillman&rsquo;s daughter Ebony tried is trying to best Dowell. Many in the ward saw the contest between Dowell and the younger Tillman as a revenge race. In 2007 Dowell, who is a former urban planner, had the support of many young professionals in the ward who are eager for development in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood. But the economy plummeted during Dowell&rsquo;s term and development stalled. In this election season, she landed endorsements from The Service Employees International Union, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and For A Better Chicago PAC. Ebony Tillman did not return phone calls from WBEZ about her candidacy. Her website said she wants to bring big box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, etc. to the ward.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>4th Ward</strong><br />The 4th Ward includes the neighborhood of Hyde Park&ndash; a progressive, politically independent part of the city. The ward had been led by Toni Preckwinkle, who relinquished her seat after winning the presidency of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.&nbsp; Illinois State Rep. Will Burns was the likely heir apparent to Preckwinkle&rsquo;s former seat, and he scored her endorsement early in the race. The SEIU, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and For A Better Chicago PAC also endorsed Burns. Burns has an extensive public policy background that resonated with residents in the ward. He campaigned on bringing more retail shopping options to the area.<br />&nbsp;<br /><strong>6th Ward</strong><br />Roderick Sawyer ran against incumbent Freddrenna Lyle. Sawyer is the son of the late Eugene Sawyer, former 6th Ward alderman and mayor of Chicago. Sawyer argued the ward was neglected with blight. He benefitted from deep community connections and name recognition. The SEIU-backed Lyle struck a chord with seniors. The 6th ward covers Chatham and Park Manor &ndash; black middle-class neighborhoods that tend to be politically mobilized. Chatham has seen an uptick in crime, which has made residents nervous.</p><p><strong>7th Ward</strong><br />The race for 7th Ward alderman featured two women with deep political ties.&nbsp;Ald. Sandi Jackson is the wife of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., whose father is the Rev. Jesse Jackson. She took this South Side ward four years ago by beating Darcel Beavers, who was appointed to finish the term of her father, William Beavers. He left the office in 2006, after serving as alderman for 23 years.</p><p>Sandi Jackson ran on a platform of economic revitalization. Specifics included development of a large retail and housing complex on the site of the former USX steel plant.</p><p><strong>10th Ward</strong></p><p>The 10th ward comprises portions of several Southeast Side neighborhoods: South Chicago, South Deering, the East Side and Hegewisch. The area was once an industrial powerhouse but as manufacturers left, the ward&rsquo;s struggled with crime, unemployment and the question of how to make use of large tracts of former factory space.</p><p>The two front runners differed in how they approached economic development.&nbsp;The incumbent, John Pope, ran on a platform that included attracting clean industrial jobs. Richard Martinez campaigned on moving the ward away from reliance on heavy industry.</p><p>Two other candidates, Joseph NaSella and Jose Leon, made little impact during the aldermanic contest.</p><p><strong>19th Ward</strong></p><p>The aldermanic race in this Southwest side ward began when Ald. Ginger Rugai, announced she would retire.&nbsp;The five candidates that vied for her seat included Rugai&rsquo;s longtime aid and ward committeeman Matt O&rsquo;Shea.&nbsp;His opponents included Ray Coronado, George Newell, Anne Schaible, Phil Sherlock and Diane Phillips.&nbsp;O&rsquo;Shea and Schaible dominated the race during the campaign.</p><p>The ward includes portions of the Morgan Park and Beverly neighborhoods. Top campaign issues include how best to revitalize retail strips along 95th Street and Western Avenue.</p><p><strong>20th Ward</strong><br />Grammy-winning hip-hopper Che &ldquo;Rhymefest&rdquo; Smith challenged first-term Ald. Willie Cochran. Smith enlisted help from fellow hip-hoppers and intellectuals, including Cornel West. Smith brought energy and youthfulness&nbsp; - and of course, celebrity &ndash; to the race. Cochran is regarded relatively well in the ward for bringing some affordable housing and commercial development. Since the last aldermanic election the ward&rsquo;s taken a hit from foreclosures and stalled economic options.&nbsp; The ward includes the Washington Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.</p><p><em>Natalie Moore and Michael Puente contributed to this story.</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/3rd-ward/south-side-aldermanic-races