Chicago rapper reunites with father in new documentary

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - A Chicago rapper says violence in Chicago could be reduced if community members got more involved and if children had a good family life.

Che "Rhymefest" Smith grew up in Chicago. He is also the subject of a documentary showing him reuniting with his homeless father.

The documentary "In My Father's House" debuted at the Music Box Theater Monday night - and the theater was packed.

Those involved in the documentary say it's not just a story about the rapper and his family, but it's a Chicago story.

Che "Rhymefest" smith is a Chicago rapper most recently known for co-writing the Grammy-award winning song "Glory" from the movie Selma.

One of his co-writers, Common, stood by his side Monday night for what may be the rapper's most personal project - a documentary called "In My Father's House,” a film that follows the rapper as he reconnects with his homeless father.

"This  journey has been one of forgiveness, love and just learning how to be a better father," Smith told FOX 32 News.

Before shooting the film, the rapper went years without speaking to his father and eventually found him living on the streets on the West Side of Chicago.

"Everyday I’ve been seeing black males that are being shot and killed in our city. What we are going to talk about is fatherhood, how that can lead to reducing the violence in our city,” Smith says in the trailer.

He says the violence needs to stop in Chicago, and he points the finger at the state's budget crisis and cuts to low income communities.  

"It has a direct correlation with the spike in crime. So yes, there’s a family element and a family dynamic that we need to bring together. But our communities also need the resources to inspire families to become whole," Smith said.

“Rhymefest” and his family still live on the South Side and says communities need to start policing themselves.

"Police in the city should be working with people in the community to police people that they know,"

“In My Father’s House” debuts this month only in select theaters nationwide. The AMC River East will show the documentary this Friday.