Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West and Common have reportedly teamed up for more than creating good music to help their Chicago hometown fend off poverty.
According to reports, Common’s foundation has linked with Ye’s DONDA House to create over 20,000 jobs for the youth.
After a studied revealed that 92% of black teens in Chicago are unemployed, Common hopes that these jobs will provide black youth with enough opportunity to detour them from a life of crime. “Obviously, one of the biggest reasons our kids are going through what they’re going through is because of poverty. I was doing an event in the neighborhood and there were some kids from Englewood and I said, ‘Man, what do y’all really need? What’s gonna stop this?’ And they were like, ‘We need money. Man, if we could work.’ They want a chance,” said rapper Common. (Poppin Lines)
The partnership will also aim to provide employment for extensive periods.
“It’s one thing to provide summer jobs for these kids, but we’re trying to provide year-round jobs,” said Andrea Zopp, CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “We’ve had hearings and the kids have told us that they need jobs year-round.” The initiative will also bring a musical festival that will act as a yearly fundraiser to raise money for the jobs and other programs. It will be held on September 20-21 behind the museum of science and industry in Hyde Park. No word yet on line-up for the festival but the organizers is hoping to pull a few big names from the Chi. (Poppin Lines)
Last summer, Kanye launched his non-profit organization in his late mother’s honor.
The Yeezus star recently announced the opening of his non-profit organization Donda’s House, which he created in memory of his late mother Dr. Donda West. The charity is geared toward Chi-town teens with the focus of “implementing arts and literature experiences that transform youth.” “My mom spent her life as an educator and I am happy that Donda’s House can pick up her torch and honor her life’s mission,” the rapper said in a press release. (Chicago Defender)
Previous reports revealed Kanye would heavily rely on DONDA House co-founder Rhymefest to get the program rolling.
The non-profit’s main youth education and training program is called “Got Bars.” Donda’s House co-founder and assistant director Che Rhymefest Smith says it “will change our youth musically, get them healthy and keep them busy in a creative, peaceful environment. “I am so happy to launch “Got Bars” to honor Kanye West’s mother’s memory and to fulfill one of my Aldermanic campaign goals,” Smith said. “I know it will be an even stronger program because of our partnership with the ARK of St. Sabina.” (Chicago Defender)