- Associated Press - Thursday, October 21, 2010

CHICAGO (AP) - Hip-hop artist Che “RhymeFest” Smith says his latest ambition is to join the city council in Chicago.

The 33-year-old rapper, best known for co-writing the Grammy-winning song “Jesus Walks” with his friend Kanye West, announced Thursday that he is running for alderman on the city’s South Side.

Smith says he hopes to lead a renaissance in a community that’s dotted with empty lots and boarded-up businesses and plagued by unemployment and crime.

He says he wants to make it easier for people to invest in the community and expand businesses, which would spur the hiring of local residents. He did not give specifics.

Smith says West supports his candidacy _ but did not promise that the producer-turned-rapper would hit the campaign trail.

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