WBEZ | Rhymefest http://www.wbez.org/tags/rhymefest Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Hip-hop artist Common announces Chicago youth job program http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hip-hop-artist-common-announces-chicago-youth-job-program-110003 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/common_140409_nm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Hip-hop artist Common and the Chicago Urban League are teaming up for a youth jobs initiative as a way to prevent violence and whittle down a high teen unemployment rate in the city.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I see what&rsquo;s going on in the city. We all see it. Anytime I hear about anybody getting shot, young people with guns, it hurts me,&rdquo; Common said Wednesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not proud to be like, yeah, we&rsquo;re &lsquo;<a href="http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/01/chiraq_war_in_chicago_prevents_solutions.html">Chiraq</a>.&rsquo; At certain points I feel like I have to do more.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The Chicago Youth Jobs Collaborative will focus on securing year-found jobs for people ages 16-24. The target is 15,000 youth over the next five years. The program is set to launch this fall with 1,000 young people.</p><p dir="ltr">Private money will be raised to subsidize salaries for some of the jobs. A key piece of the collaborative is engaging the private sector to identify jobs, from corporate to manufacturing to nonprofit. Organizers don&rsquo;t want jobs to end when the summer ends. Employing 1,000 youth would cost approximately $2.4 million, according to the Chicago Urban League.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not just jobs, it&rsquo;s mentoring and support so they [young people] know that there&rsquo;s a group around them supporting their success so they know there&rsquo;s a future for them in this city,&rdquo; said Andrea Zopp, CEO of the Chicago Urban League.</p><p dir="ltr">Teen unemployment in Illinois is among the highest in the United States, and for low-income minorities the rates are even higher.</p><p dir="ltr">Researchers at Northeastern University released a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/stagnant-employment-picture-illinois-teens-105108">report </a>last year noting that teens&#39; lack work of experience adversely affects their future employability and wages. The conclusions mirror previous studies that suggest job experience can help deter teens from involvement in the criminal justice system.</p><p dir="ltr">The report&rsquo;s authors found only 8.7 percent of black teens in Chicago were employed in 2010-2011. The rate for Asians, though, was 15.5 percent. Twenty percent of the city&rsquo;s Hispanic teens were employed, and the rate for whites stood at 21 percent.</p><p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, across Illinois, the teen employment rate fell from just under 50 percent in 2000 to 28 percent in 2012 &mdash; the lowest rate in the 42 years for which such data exist. If Illinois teens had been able to maintain their 1999-2000 employment rates during the past year, there would have been another 151,000 teens at work in Illinois in 2011-2012, the report said.</p><p dir="ltr">Native son Common, whose mother Mahalia Hines is an educator and Chicago Public Schools board member, recalled meeting with young people in Englewood, a neighborhood with high crime and unemployment.</p><p dir="ltr">They told the rapper they needed money and jobs, underscoring the link between poverty and violence.</p><p>&ldquo;What do they want? They want opportunity and a chance,&rdquo; Common said.</p><p>This summer The AAHH! FEST, a two-day concert in September, will kick off. Common&rsquo;s foundation will partner with Kanye West&rsquo;s <a href="http://dondashouseinc.org/">Donda&rsquo;s House</a> in which emcee Rhymefest is the creative director. Part of the money will fund the year-round jobs initiatives.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="mailto:nmoore@wbez.org">nmoore@wbez.org</a></em></p><p><em>Follow Natalie on <a href="https://plus.google.com//104033432051539426343" rel="me">Google+</a>, &nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 17:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/hip-hop-artist-common-announces-chicago-youth-job-program-110003 Chicago hip-hop stars team up to teach kids how to write music http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-hip-hop-stars-team-teach-kids-how-write-music-108202 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RHYMEFEST-KANYE_130726_JC (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Kanye West and Rhymefest are collaborating on a free music writing program to assist at-risk youth on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side.</p><p dir="ltr">The &ldquo;Got Bars?&rdquo; program will teach young people how to write and record their own music over the course of 10 weeks. It&rsquo;s a collaboration between West&rsquo;s non-profit, Donda&rsquo;s House &mdash; named in honor of his late mother &mdash; and St. Sabina Church.</p><p dir="ltr">Donda&rsquo;s House Executive Director Donnie Smith said music writing helps the students, who will be between 15 to 24 years old, develop problem-solving skills.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Art instruction and particularly music instruction leads people to become better problem solvers, more flexible,&rdquo; Smith said. &ldquo;There are just so many outcomes that come from the study of music and particularly music writing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">She said the program&rsquo;s targeting at-risk youth between 15 and 24 because there aren&rsquo;t enough activities for them.</p><p dir="ltr">Rhymefest, who&rsquo;s co-founder and assistant director of Donda&rsquo;s House, will help kids write and record music in a studio. The program also includes lessons about exercise, nutrition and life skills.</p><p dir="ltr">Donda&rsquo;s House will release an EP that includes the participants&rsquo; songs.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Lee Jian Chung is a WBEZ arts and culture intern. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/jclee89" target="_blank">@jclee89</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 09:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-hip-hop-stars-team-teach-kids-how-write-music-108202 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 What a runoff! I had no idea voter apathy could be so hyper-local! http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-06/what-runoff-i-had-no-idea-voter-apathy-could-be-so-hyper-local-84788 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-06/Rhymefest-boe.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Wait, I thought runoff was what was in my yard after a rainstorm, not the MEDIA EVENT OF THE CENTURY!!!! Alderman Freddrenna Lyle lost????? Michael Chandler is back???? Smith beat Egan??????? My world is going to change foreeevvvvveerrrr!</p><p>I understand that this is hyper-local news at its core. The people who care about the runoff election in the 24th ward are either a) voters or b) niche blog editors. I'm not sure a random Chicagoan could name more than three alderman. So the loss of Lyle, Dixon and Stone probably won't change much. Listen, we have a new mayor and it's probably okay that some of the resident alderman shuffle out. Hopefully the newcomers can either a) be better than the old alderman or b) be as good as the old alderman.</p><p>So instead of the mayor appointing aldermen, 14 percent of the ward chooses who gets paid $119,000.</p><p>Funny story: I talked to a friend today who said she didn't have a runoff in her ward, because her alderman, Mike Quigley, had already won. I told her Quigley was her U.S. Representative, not alderman. She then said, "Oh!!! I meant Deb Mell." Nope. Deb Mell is her state representative. "Oh. Wait, so who's my alderman?" Good question.</p><p>I think the better question might be, are we over-represented?</p><p>Here are my quick, random observations from the 2011 aldermanic runoff:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="375" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-06/Rhymefest-boe.jpg" title="" width="500"></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/20th-ward/che-rhymefest-smith-vows-election-challenge-84796">Rhymefest lost by 300 votes in the 20th ward</a>. Well, he isn't conceding because his camp is claiming "massive voter irregularities." They pulled a mini-Tony Peraica last night and stormed the Chicago Board of Elections. Well, by stormed, I mean they brought a couple lawyers to a closed door meeting. I was hoping Rhymefest would come down, someone would throw a chair through a window and then have an impromptu rap concert.</p><p>So I was disappointed when I tagged along with Tony Arnold to cover the event. I recuse myself on covering Rhymefest because we are friends. He's a funny dude and we do a lot of performing together, even before he ran for alderman. We <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-05/new-video-alderman-ed-bus-how-raise-big-campaign-cash-featuring-rhym">released a video last night of my character, Alderman Ed Bus (fictitious 53rd) teaching Rhymefest how to raise money</a>. Anyway, the reporters grilled Rhymefest's lawyers about what could actually be done and it seemed that this was more for show, less for changing the vote. Ah, well. Rhymefest got more pub for running for alderman than he did with his last record. So something tells me he knows what he's doing.</p><p>Berny Stone has left the building! The<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/50th-ward/stone-loses-50th-ward-offers-no-apologies-84802"> elder statesman of the City Council was trounced last night</a> by Debra Silverstein. So another of the Daley rubber stamp City Council members rides off into the sunset. It's kind of like Jedi when Luke sees the glowing images of Yoda and Obi-Wan. In this case, Waguespack will look over his shoulder and see images of Burt Natarus, Bill Banks and Berny Stone. And oh how the Ewoks will dance.</p><p>I think I will like this <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/john-rice/chicago-firefighter-upseat-incumbent-alderman-ward-organization-84800">Nicholas Sposato</a>. He is a firefighter who beat Bill Banks' chosen one, John Rice. Sposato should be a fun guy to cover. Rice's loss is more symoblic than anything, as he was backed by big Chicago machine committeeman. Emanuel also endorsed Rice, but - according to the latest state records - gave no money. Not a huge vote of confidence in the machine, eh?&nbsp;</p><p>And how 'bout this for an internship coup? This photo was on the front page of the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> today. Stone is talking to the media. Next to WBEZ's Odette Yousef (red jacket), stands our new intern, Kate Dries. Find a paper copy and put that in the ol' scrapbook, Dries!</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="500" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-06/trib-odette-kate.jpg" title="" width="500"></p><p><strong>B story</strong>: Enough elections. Let's get to the real stories of this city. As you may have heard, <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-05/entertainment/ct-live-0406-batman-pittsburgh-20110405_1_dark-knight-rises-local-film-industry-richard-moskal">Batman is not coming back to Chicago</a>. They are shooting the next installment of the Batman movies in Pittsburgh. See what happens when you lose a series at home to the Pirates? Boom, $50 million in lost revenue.</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/TheBlog/archives/2011/04/05/local-reggae-club-returns-to-its-african-roots">The Reader reports that the Wild Hare is closing</a>. The Wrigleyville reggae bar was a destination spot for touring bands and adventurous Cubs fans who couldn't get into Sluggers. I raise a Red Stripe in your honor, out-of-place reggae bar. You treated me well a few times. Is Exodus 2 still open across the street? <a href="http://www.exeduslounge.com/">Indeed it is</a>!</p><p><strong>D story</strong>: They did it! <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blewt/dont-spit-the-water-lets-make-a-pilot-and-get-on-t">Blewt and Steve Gadlin</a> raised enough cash to produce a pilot for WCIU! We should be seeing a new gameshow called "Don't Spit the Water" soon. GM Neil Sabin will have to honor his word. Wait - what?&nbsp; Want me to back up? Ah, just click the link (above).</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: Don't look now, but a young star is budding on the North Side. Starlin Castro has been lights-out at the beginning of the season. He is hitting over .500 and leading the charge for a Cubs team that is 3-2. Can it continue? Will this be the best shortstop the Cubs have had since swingin' Shawon Dunston? And in college basketball news, a <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/cbsports-illinis-richmond-declares-for-nba-draft-20110405,0,4658309.story">guy from the Illini squad is going pro</a>. I wouldn't know him because he didn't play in either of the NCAA tournament games because of a suspension. The paper told me he averaged 7.6 points a game in his freshman year in Champagne. Sounds great.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: Have you been out to Wrigley yet? I want a progress report on our new PA announcer. <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/sports/mlb/cubs/chicago-cubs-wrigley-field-home-opener-opening-day-redford-bellison-fans-20110401">Andrew Bellison was chosen as the winner</a> of the Cubs' contest to take over duties announcing at the ballpark. Here's his audition tape, where he tells the world that he "I always idolized Paul Friedman as a kid growing up." Paul works with us at WBEZ.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" height="450" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-05/Friedman.jpg" title="" width="300"></p><p>And now, he's an old man. Hilarious.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/adHdypzE774" title="YouTube video player" width="425"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 15:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-06/what-runoff-i-had-no-idea-voter-apathy-could-be-so-hyper-local-84788 Che "Rhymefest" Smith vows election challenge http://www.wbez.org/story/20th-ward/che-rhymefest-smith-vows-election-challenge-84796 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-05/005 - Rhymefest Election Night Party 4.5.11 by Bill Healy.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The challenger in Chicago’s 20<sup>th</sup> ward aldermanic race says he’s not conceding to the incumbent.</p><p>Che “Rhymefest” Smith is behind Ald. Willie Cochran by 316 votes.</p><p>But Smith, a Grammy-award winning hip-hop artist, said his poll watchers witnessed voter irregularities on election day.</p><p>"I know that I didn’t fit the profile of an alderman traditionally. We gonna keep fighting for your votes to be counted. Every one of these irregularities is going to be taken care of," Smith said.</p><p>Smith’s camp alleged that in some precincts all of the votes weren’t counted and non-residents voted.</p><p>A spokesman for the board of elections says Smith has five days to request a recount.</p></p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 04:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/20th-ward/che-rhymefest-smith-vows-election-challenge-84796 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 Cornel West stumps for Rhymefest: Will it resonate with 20th ward voters? http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/cornel-west-stumps-rhymefest-will-it-resonate-20th-ward-voters <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/004.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="375" width="500" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-07/rhymefest-cornelwest.jpg" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">Hip-hopper Che &quot;Rhymefest&quot; Smith is getting a lot of outside support in his bid for 20th ward alderman.</p><p>P-funker <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2010/12/27/rhymefest_calls_on_dr_funkenstein_f.php">George Clinton</a> put on fundraising concert. Fellow hip-hopper<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/11/rhymefest-holding-fundrai_n_782433.html"> Lupe Fiasco has given</a> his support. And on Jan. 6 renowned public intellectual<a href="http://www.cornelwest.com/about.html"> Cornel West</a> came to Chicago to praise the Grammy-winning Smith.</p><p>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.</p><p>&quot;It's very important to support our young leadership,&quot; West told me. &quot;Chicago is on the cutting edge of movements - politically, musically and culturally.&quot; Smith and West first met when the rapper worked on the scholar's album in 2006.</p><p>&quot;There are so few people or leaders who are not up for sale,&quot; West said. The advice he's given his mentee? &quot;Put love at the center of it. Justice is what love looks like in public.&quot;</p><p>Political neophyte Smith is getting quite the buzz around Chicago, but as I looked around Thursday night's fundraiser, I wondered how many <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_420.pdf">20th ward </a>constituents were in attendance. I wonder the same thing about other citywide events Smith has held.</p><p>I pulled Woodlawn native Smith aside to ask. He said he has to pull from everywhere to gain resources in order to promote his message. Smith argued that city council members need to pay attention to citywide issues and not just the ones in the ward.</p><p>Smith is trying to unseat first-term alderman Willie Cochran.</p></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 16:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/cornel-west-stumps-rhymefest-will-it-resonate-20th-ward-voters Citylife: The Rhymefest revolution http://www.wbez.org/aobejas/2010/10/citylife-the-rhymefest-revolution/39948 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2010-October/2010-10-26/rhymefest.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/aobejas/2010/10/citylife-the-rhymefest-revolution/39948 /2010-023-3" rel="attachment wp-att-40558"><img height="366" width="488" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//2010-0232.jpg" title="2010 023" class="size-full wp-image-40558" /></a><br /><em>(photo by Achy Obejas)</em><br />&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: left;">South of Madison, at 58th and State in a large warehouse-garage, brick and cold and cavernous: a gathering of strangers. They mill and sip their coffees, chew on crumbly baked goods, then throng into a horseshoe around a bouquet of microphones.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A tiny woman, her eyes barely seen above the metal bulbs, gives her endorsement to the proceedings. This is Catherine Haskins, the owner of the business hosting the press conference, Exclusively Yours Auto Spa.<img title="More..." class="mceWPmore mceItemNoResize" alt="" src="http://blogs.vocalo.org/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">On the north wall behind her: A large rectangular political poster full of intention; just a few yards away from it, a massive canvas in reds and blacks.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;The definition of revolution is love,&rdquo; says Che Rhymefest Smith, announcing his aldermanic candidacy in the 20th ward, where, in spite of being a stone&rsquo;s throw west of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago, the emptiness is palpable even on a clear and clean fall day.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The canvas, ignored by the cameras and the media, has its own mantra: Love All Love Ball Trust None.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;It shouldn&rsquo;t be made hard to help people,&rdquo; says Smith, his family and friends in a mirroring horseshoe behind him.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Smith is perhaps best known for co-writing &ldquo;Jesus Walks,&rdquo; Kanye West&rsquo;s big hit, but he&rsquo;s third generation Woodlawn, he&rsquo;s all over the community, and at this meeting and that. He lives here, takes his son to the McDonald&rsquo;s at Cottage Grove and 47th, goes to block parties off Washington Park. He knows the corners, calls people by name.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">And on the mural, Haskins&rsquo; brother, Michael Avery, oversees. He&rsquo;s standing in front of a black Chicago skyline flanked by street signs marking a stretch of the 20th ward from 49th and Calumet to 57th and Wabash (a quick cruise reveals sturdy brick six flats with gummed up window frames, a few boarded up buildings, some flanked by vacant lots, a couple rehabbed &ndash; eight blocks of wary silence). In the lower right hand corner: &ldquo;Rest in Peace Mikey 1978-2007&rdquo; (an artists&rsquo; error: it should be 2006).</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;He was killed right here, in this building,&rdquo; Haskins says later, while Rhymefest is still circled, now more informally, only individually held microphones poking at his face.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Her family had bought the garage at her brother&rsquo;s instigation, from an elderly couple whose own adult son had also been shot here, in the very place where Mikey would die years later, and where now Rhymefest was promising better days.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have to re-invent the wheel,&rdquo; he&rsquo;d said during the press conference, &ldquo;just reinstate it.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><code> </code> <a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//2010-014b.jpg"><img height="367" width="490" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//2010-014b.jpg" title="2010 014b" class="size-full wp-image-40559" /></a><br /><em>(photo by Achy Obejas)</em></p><p style="text-align: left;"><br />&ldquo;Someone came in with a handgun,&rdquo; says Haskins about her brother&rsquo;s murder. &ldquo;We were closing up. The other workers heard the gunfire. Police believe it was a botched robbery, cuz they didn&rsquo;t get anything. All they did was take a father of four away from his children.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">On the mural, Micheal Avery is accompanied by the family pet, a floppy-eared pitbull named Chica, now very fat and living the life of Riley with their mother, says Haskins.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Behind Avery on the mural is a 1978 Malibu, Carolina blue and beautiful, and Haskins points to the real thing, at the other end of the garage, which she drives now. Before he died, her brother had a new engine put in, the body restored and re-painted.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">When she talks about her brother, she describes an ambitious and industrious young businessman, a charmer, a man close to his kin. Which makes a detail on the mural incongruous: on Avery&rsquo;s shirt on the canvas, the familiar design of the &ldquo;Scarface&rdquo; movie poster.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">&ldquo;The artist did that,&rdquo; Haskins says with a shrug. &ldquo;For me, it just means life wasn&rsquo;t a walk through the roses. I look at it as an interpretation of where we come from.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Has she seen &ldquo;Scarface&rdquo;?</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Haskins, annoyed, nods. &ldquo;Yeah, I remember it &ndash; Tony Montana, cocaine, guns. I don&rsquo;t think it associates my brother with any of that. It&rsquo;s what we live through. Gunfire happens. Life for African-Americans isn&rsquo;t so easy, you know?&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: left;">A few feet from her, Rhymefest is still talking: &ldquo;We will reclaim our grace,&rdquo; he promises.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/aobejas/2010/10/citylife-the-rhymefest-revolution/39948 /2010-035b" rel="attachment wp-att-40560"><img height="350" width="486" alt="" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//2010-035b.jpg" title="2010 035b" class="size-full wp-image-40560" /><br /></a><a href="/aobejas/2010/10/citylife-the-rhymefest-revolution/39948 /2010-035b" rel="attachment wp-att-40560"><em>(photo by Achy Obejas)</em></a></p></p> Fri, 22 Oct 2010 16:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/aobejas/2010/10/citylife-the-rhymefest-revolution/39948 Election night in Chicago: Where's Rhymefest going to be? He'll be here with us. http://www.wbez.org/blog/election-night-chicago-wheres-rhymefest-going-be-hell-be-here-us <p><a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//rhymefest.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-13593" title="rhymefest" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//rhymefest.jpg" alt="rhymefest" width="489" height="372" /></a><code><div></div></code> That's right - Rhymefest joins the crowded smoke-filled (chat)room for election night coverage. We decided this year to push the envelope and have a radio show that delivers election results and analysis and also create another show that is just on-line. We are embedding a chat room on this page and having our pal Steve Edwards moderate. It's going to be a lively, energetic night with election results from the reporters in the field, candidates logging-in to talk about their races and panelists shooting from the hip, creating must-see internet. 7pm-10pm. Longer if necessary. Then we'll all meet up at the Billy Goat afterwards. And not the crappy Navy Pier one.<!--break--> We've added a few more people to the list, including Chicago's own hip-hop superstar <strong>Rhymefest</strong>. We've also secured good, healthy "yes, unless we say no at the last minute" confirmations from<strong> </strong>Governor<strong> Pat Quinn</strong>, Cook County Board President<strong> Todd Stroger</strong>, 5th District Congressman<strong> Mike Quigley</strong>, Cook County Board Commissioner <strong>Tony Peraica</strong>, Congresswoman (9th district) <strong>Jan Schakowsky</strong>, Senate candidates <strong>Alexi Giannoulias</strong> and <strong>David Hoffman</strong> and many, many more. Not to mention all the editors and reporters from your favorite sites. And not to mention you. Wait, I mentioned you, didn't I? It's what election night is supposed to be. And at the end, hopefully you will be informed and entertained and we'll feel like this: <a href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2828955741_049ac157bc.jpg"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2828955741_049ac157bc.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="333" /></a> <p style="text-align: center;"></p></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2010 08:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/election-night-chicago-wheres-rhymefest-going-be-hell-be-here-us