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Hip Hop Star on the Rise

by Ramel Greene 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Paul Robeson High School in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

Kamau Armstrong, a student at Robeson High School, wants to be a hip-hop star so that he can make money for his family.

“I want to help if one of my family members doesn’t have a house, car or can’t afford the bills. I can pay for my family to get what they want,” said Kamau. “If I live with my mom, I can take good care of her. My family will have what they need.”

Kamau likes to rap about girls, money school and family. He learned how to rap by himself. He use to hear his cousin rap and decided he would try to rap himself, but he use to mess up on his raps often. Now he raps very well.

Kamau always raps at his grandmother Mattie Butler’s house. She has a studio for her grandchildren and her nephews to rap in. The studio has a Macintosh computer with a little radio and microphone. Also, it has a video cameras as well as cameras. Kamau raps in the studio and put the tracks and videos on YouTube and Facebook.

He recorded a CD. Some of the songs on his CD are “Everything Gucci,” “Copanana,” and “Take a Photo.” The name of Kamau’s CD is “TrackSlayer.” Kamau Armstrong is working toward being a new name and face in the world of hip hop!

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On the Campaign Trail with Che “Rhymefest” Smith

by Cornelius Jordan 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

Driving around Englewood, pointing out empty lots on Feb. 18, Che “Rhymefest” Smith talked about how these used to be houses. He said he wants to transform the neighborhood and make it a clean and safe environment for kids to play in. He said the neighborhood has no love and care in it, but he wants to change that.

Che 'Rhymefest' Smith on the campaign trail. Photo courtesy of Smith's campaign web site.

Smith is running for alderman of the 20th ward in the April 5 run-off election, after he got 20 percent of the vote in the primary election in February. His opponent is incumbent Willie Cochran. Smith is a Grammy-award-winning rapper, who has met

famous people including Ciara, Bow Wow and Rick Ross. But now, he says he wants to focus his attention on serving his community.

As he went door to door campaigning, some of the gates were locked. He and his assistant put campaign fliers on the locked gates and his assistant rang every doorbell where the gates were unlocked, until she got an answer. For ones with no answer, they would come back the next day. Smith was determined to reach every voter. In his office, he had maps with circles around the homes he’d already been to. After covering an entire block, Smith and his supporters got back into the white van decorated with his name and drove to the next block. Read more »

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