by TV One Staff
February 2, 2016
Che “Rhymefest” Smith is the quintessential renaissance man. As a writer, artist, activist, political organizer and teacher, Che has cracked glass ceilings and shattered negative stereotypes about hip-hop.
In 2005, Rhymefest won a Grammy for co-writing the mega – hit “Jesus Walks” with his childhood friend Kanye West. In 2006 he released his critically acclaimed “Blue Collar” album on Clive Davis’s J-records.
In 2013 Che, Kanye and Che’s wife Donnie Smith founded Donda’s House. Donda’s House is a non-profit premium Arts program that teaches youth 15-24 years old Health & Wellness techniques, Studio Etiquette & Creative Writing. Donda’s House has served over 160 youth with free instruction and continues to be a force for creative change in Chicago.
In 2014 Rhymefest was nominated for a Grammy for his work on Kanye West’s “Yeezus” album for the song “New Slaves.”
In 2015 Rhymefest won a Critics Choice award, Golden Globe and Academy Award (Oscar) for his work on “Glory” along with John Legend and Common for the film Selma.
Che is the subject of the BreakThru Films documentary “In My Father’s House”, which explores fatherhood, homelessness and family. In January of 2013, Che goes on a journey to find his father, only to find his father homeless on the West Side of Chicago. The film premiered at Tribeca in 2015, and was released in AMC Theaters October 9, 2015. Che “Rhymefest” Smith was selected to represent Kenneth Cole in the “Courageous Class” Campaign and can be seen in print advertisements including billboards, subways and tour buses throughout the world.
Che believes “true power is the power to empower others.”