Cheland Smith chicago

In My Father's House - Premieres in Chicago

Thursday, October 08, 2015 Tyronita Bell

Che "Rhymefest" Smith is most known for co-writing the Grammy Awarding winning song "Jesus Walks" with Kanye West. He also, recently co-wrote the Academy and Golden Globe winning song "Glory" along with Common and John Legend.  Che grew up on the south side of Chicago without a father. He always knew the significance of having a father  figure in his life, so he bought his family's old house here in Chicago and searched for him. He then found his dad both homeless and addicted to alcohol.

Common and Rhymefest at the Chicago Premiere of "In My Father's house"
Photo credit: Bradley Todd
 In over a year's time Che's father becomes clean and the two develop a genuine relationship with one another. “ My father and I have a great relationship now. It was a thing of finding and building a relationship, this story is not a unique story. It’s the American story. When people go see 'In My Father’s House' their going to see a piece of their family and I hope will can all come around it together. “

At the premiere, Judge Mathis made an appearance sharing some powerful words with the audience. “ This is the first time I seen a son teach fatherhood. Many of us who came up without fathers don’t know how to be fathers to our sons. I was one of those young men in Detroit raised in the streets… and I learned fatherhood from my father in law and that fatherhood that I learned showed me how fulfilling it was to be a father and it’s the best feeling in the world… This is very important work. “.

Rhymefest and his father
photo found via tribecafilm.com
This Film opens up a conversation that has never been deeply discussed. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative one in three children live in a biological father-absent home.

Here are some facts on the impact of fatherless homes:

  •  Fatherless children are twice as likely to be incarcerated as those who grew up in two parent households. 
  • "63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes."
  • "85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes"*
  • "71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes"
  • "70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes"
Statistics found on about.com (parenting) in an article title "Statistics on Fatherless Children In America" by Fatherhood Expert Wayne Parker

Rhymefest is featured in the Fall 2015 Courageous Class campaign for Kenneth Cole
photo found via kennethcole.com


There is an evident growth in Che's family throughout the movie. It truly shows how important it is to have both parents in the picture for the best interest of the child. Knowing who you come from, and why you do things the way you do really helps in creating that connection within yourself. When asked what his top three awards were he answered, “Well, I was awarded some children that I love very much and I was awarded a wife… I’ve dated a lot, and I’ve met a lot of people. I’ve been around the world but my wife is the best gift that I’ve ever had. She really helped me come back from a lot of things and so, I would say my family… All of the other stuff is inanimate objects that you can win based on politics, you can win based on a lot of different things, but my family is something that is unconditional and forever. I’m glad that I have good family around me… I don’t know if that’s an award or a reward, but I look at it as both.”


The film has already won Best Documentary at Bentonville Film Festival 2015, Southwest Airlines Audience Award Overall Winner at Nashville Film Festival 2015, Honorable Mention in Best Original Song Competition at Nashville Film Festival 2015, for “Found You,” written and performed by Rhymefest, and Southwest Airlines Audience Award in the Documentary Competition at Nashville Film Festival 2015.The movie hits select theaters October 9th. Make sure you get your tickets!  

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