Rhymefest Now Has A Grammy & An Oscar. Is He One Of The Ghostwriter Greats?
Remember that time Rhymefest beat Eminem in a Rap battle at the 1997 Scribble Jam? Unless you were there, likely not. It seems now that the two Midwest MCs have more in common all these years later. During the 87th Academy Awards this past weekend, Rhymefest and Common simultaneously became only the second and third rappers to have won both a Grammy and an Oscar Award when they won Best Original Song for “Glory” from the film Selma. While Eminem and Common have both achieved levels of fame and get their rightful praise, Rhymefest has quietly joined this small, prestigious club through his work as a writer.
Although he was not on stage during the televised performance, or on stage for the award, ‘Fest co-wrote the song “Glory” with Comm’ and John. This background role is something that the Chicago, Illinois native knows about, from when he won a Grammy in 2005 from co-writing “Jesus Walks” with Kanye West. Additionally, ‘Fest’s name was all over the writing credits to Yeezus two years ago.
While his musical output has been sporadic, his only album releases being Blue Collar in 2006 and heavily-delayed follow-up El Che in 2010, Rhymefest had been focused on a career in politics prior to working on “Glory.” In 2011 he ran for Chicago’s 20th Ward Alderman, placing second in the municipal general election and ultimately losing to Willie Chochran. Currently, he has been supporting Donda’s House, an initiative started by Kanye West to educate Chicago’s youth in the arts. He also said in a recent interview with AllHipHop.com that he will be releasing new music this year via SoundCloud.
Given the power of his pen, is Rhymefest deserving as one of the great Rap ghostwriters, alongside The D.O.C. and Skillz?