How does Kanye West for mayor of Chicago sound? Do you think it has a nice ring to it? Well, according to the Chicago Tribune on June 6, Hyde Park artist Ben Shepard sure thinks it does. Shepard believes the obvious choice for Chicago’s next mayor is Kim Kardashian’s new husband.
Believing that Kanye West would be the best choice, Shepard has set up kanye4mayor.org. The only problem is that he hasn’t mentioned it to Kanye West yet. However, he has gone online to try to convince Kanye West to come back to his hometown with Kim Kardashian and Nori to champion the cause of fighting street violence against incumbent mayor Rahm Emmanuel. Kanye West is planning to start a fashion empire. Will he change his plans in order to run for mayor of Chicago?
Shepard is very optimistic about West’s chances. "He was a producer before he became a rapper, and that requires a strong ability to collaborate," Shepard said. "I think he would be willing to hear people out, to bring people from around the city in to offer their ideas."
West has a reputation to go off on people. Shepard considers that an asset. “I like his volatility. If you look to the 19th century, there's a tradition of politicians who were much more emotional," Shepard said. "Sure, he's crazy and unpredictable, but he would also look out for the concerns of poor people in the city better than the current administration."
This campaign to make Kanye West mayor of Chicago actually began with a 10-year-old student in an art program. Shepard said the kid wanted to do nothing but “listen to the Kanye song ‘Power’ over and over and over again.” Shepard was struck by the dedication to West’s music in Chicago, especially the lyrics, “The system’s broken, the school’s closed, the prison’s open.” He thinks it applies and he doesn’t think Rahm Emmanuel has done enough.
To date, no one from Kanye’s camp has contacted Shepard about the campaign. "I would love for Kanye's people to call and say 'OK, give us your pitch,'" Shepard said. "But if that doesn't happen, maybe Chicagoans will learn something about the city. That would be cool."