Say what you like about Kanye West but sometimes he reveals that there might jut be a heart of gold under all the braggadocio. Case in point, the project he is currently working on in Chicago to create more jobs. The city has been experiencing some harrowing socio-economic challenges of late, with a recent study revealing that 92% of young black males in the city are jobless. Woah. Thankfully some of the city’s biggest rap alumni are getting together to work on a solution.
Kanye West’s Donda’s House charity and Common’s Common Ground Foundation have partnered with the Chicago Urban League to create thousands of jobs for the young people of Chicago. Included in the initiative is a plan to create over 20,000 summer jobs, and 1,000 year-round employment opportunities. An annual music festival-cum-fundraiser, the AAHH! Fest, is also included in the project to kickstart confidence and job creation. The event will be held in Hyde Park, Chicago on September 20-21.
Common said the following during a recent press conference:
Any time I hear of innocent people getting shot and killed and young people with guns, it hurts. I felt I have to do more than just write songs about Chicago. 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.
It’s incredibly inspiring to hear of artists like Common and Kanye using their money and influence for a good cause and giving back to the community. Props! And here’s to better things to come for Chi-Town.