Che Smith is a revolutionary artist, writer, and activist. Popularly known as Rhymefest, the South Side Chicago native has been a trailblazer in music, television, and politics.
Emerging from humble beginnings, Rhymefest has managed to rise from substitute teacher to global educator. After permanently trading in his janitor uniform for a microphone, Rhymefest has been a vocal advocate for Hip Hop artists worldwide. In October 2006, Fest became the first rapper to meet with the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party. As he sat down with David Cameron, the Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition, Rhymefest was able to convince the political figure not to be an enemy of all things Hip Hop. More recently, Rhymefest has traveled with Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas), Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) as a proponent of H.R. 848, the Performance Rights Act.
As an emcee, Rhymefest is the total package. Few rappers can brag about defeating the lyrical wizard Eminem in one breath, and in the next, stake claim to music’s most coveted prize – a Grammy. From battling off the top of the head, to penning classic hits, Rhymefest is one of Hip Hop’s most dangerous emcees. A two time winner of Scribble Jam (1997 and 2003), Rhymefest came into the national spotlight after co-writing “Jesus Walks” with his childhood comrade Kanye West. Fest contributed significantly to West’s debut “The College Dropout,” co-writing songs like “All Falls Down” as well. The two also collaborated on Rhymefest’s breakout single “Brand New,” off of 2006’s critically acclaimed Blue Collar LP. From scribing 16s for legends like Queen Latifah and Lil Jon, to lacing his own tracks with extraordinary energy, Rhymefest is a powerhouse behind the scenes and in the limelight.
In front of the camera, few artists have the charisma and stage presence that Rhymefest naturally exudes. Taking the stage on Nick Cannon’s Wild’N Out, Fest has one of the most memorable lines to date, as he freestyled “The black team, a real hard team to deal with, what the hell is this? A little baby Will Smith? I don’t understand, by all accounts, Nick Cannon, get out of here, you need to Roll… Bounce!” With humorous outbursts like these, Rhymefest thrives on late night television. On Last Call with Carson Daly, Fest blessed the national TV audience with an impromptu freestyle during his performance of “Fever.” Rhymefest has also been a welcomed guest on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and even voiced a puppet on Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers.
Outside of his political activism, songwriting, and television appearances, Rhymefest has been hard at work perfecting his highly anticipated El Che album. Finally liberated from major label red tape, Hip Hop lovers should expect to hear an unfiltered Rhymefest, free from the corporate suits and oppressive ideas of the prevailing record industry. Che is partnering with dangerousNEGRO Entertainment (dN|Be ENT) as the flagship artist, and will enjoy full creative control over his projects. Three years in the making, look for El Che to drop in early 2010. Until then, feel free to rock to Rhymefest’s two street albums: Man In The Mirror, known as the greatest Michael Jackson tribute ever recorded (produced by famed Amy Winehouse producer Mark Ronson), and The Manual, full of classic beats and new street bangers by Scram Jones.