Rhymefest Loses Run For Chicago Alderman Seat In Close Election

By Allen Starbury  |  04/07/2011

RhymefestDespite a valiant run, previous and current Chicago Alderman Willie Cochran beat out hometown rapper Rhymefest for the seat in the 20th Ward on the city's South Side.

Surprisingly, Fest (real name: Che Smith) had a lot of support, and lost by a narrow margin.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Cochran took 54.6 percent of the vote over Fest's 45.4 percent, quite a feat for a rapper with no previous political background.

"It's not about me winning or losing, it's about hope," the rapper said at his election night party, adding that he felt a lot of energy at the polls.

"Eleven and 12-year-old children ask me 'can you stop the gang banging?' I say 'you have to help too.' "

His party has hip-hop blasting from large speakers, while a small group of "mostly young people followed his mist green Cadillac," reports the paper, while Rhymefest held his grandmother on one arm and his wife on the other.

In the end, it wasn't enough to win though.

Fest announced that he was running for the seat last October, and in February successfully forced a run-off election.