Chicago Artist/Activist Rhymefest Says He Supports Trump’s Call For Federal Aid To Fight Violence In Chicago

Chicago rapper/songwriter Che “Rhymefest” Smith said Monday that he supports President-elect Donald Trump’s call for federal aid to fight violent crime in Chicago as long as it results in additional resources for certain neighborhoods.In his tweet, Trump express displeasure in the city’s violence, asserting that Mayor Rahm Emanuel should “ask for federal help” if local authorities can’t handle the crisis.

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“If the president-elect is talking about federal intervention in terms of resources, then we welcome that,” Smith said in an interview with CNN. “Illinois is number one for African-American unemployment. When we look at violence, especially in Chicago, you can circle on a map the small areas where violence in happening.”

“If we can circle small areas, that means we can take what works in Chicago, by and large, and apply that to these areas that have been divested from,” Smith added.

In an August interview with CNN, the rapper invited Trump to Chicago as a response to the president-elect’s divisive rhetoric about the city.

“Chicago is in a fragile state,” Smith said at the time. “However, it’s not what Donald Trump is saying it is.”

Smith, said Monday that “it’s not the president’s job to stop violence in Chicago,” referencing President Barack Obama. He claimed that responsibility falls to the Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel’s office responded to Trump’s tweet Monday, signaling a working relationship between the mayor and the president-elect. Emanuel met with Trump last month in New York City, delivering a letter from mayors across the country calling for protections for young immigrants. 

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