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Rhymefest to Voters: Don't Judge Me by the Lyrics

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 1, 2011 7:40PM

2010_10_22_10withrhymefest.jpg We're guessing that 20th Ward Ald. Willie Cochran didn't expect to find himself in a runoff election with Che "Rhymefest" Smith next month. Or maybe he did and wanted to wait until the sprint to April 5 to start attacking the local rap star for his lyrics.

Cochran has taken to attacking Rhymefest's lyrics (and a couple of misdemeanor weapons and domestic violence convictions) as unbecoming of an alderman.

“When you’re in a position where you influence people and you use it to bring a scorn on our society and you promote get your gun, promote calling people bitches, promote treating people like that ... what makes him think he should make decisions for the community?” Cochran said. “And that what he’s preaching on ... That’s what he says in his music — how to be contrary to the law, and now he wants to be a lawmaker.”

Smith counters that he shouldn't be judged solely by his lyrics and that his career choice wouldn't be an issue if the music was anything about rap. He's right, and Cochran knows this. Smith should probably do what he did with the Sun-Times article and remind people he also helped write "Jesus Walks." With lyrics like this and an understanding of the troubles facing the 20th Ward, Smith can throw Cochran's argument back in his face.