According to a news report from the Chicago Sun-Times, the Urban League discovered that the main concern among young people who worked summer jobs was the need for a job outside of those summer months.
As a result of those findings, Common’s Common Ground Foundation and Kanye West’s Donda’s House, which is led by Rhymefest and his wife, will launch 1,000 jobs this September and is hoping to provide jobs to 15,000 youth over the next five years.
“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,” Common said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “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.”
To raise funds for both the Common Ground Foundation and Donda’s House, an annual music festival will be held this September over a span of two days.
Earlier this year, Rhymefest spoke exclusively with HipHopDX about his work with Donda’s House. He recalled pitching the idea for his Got Bars program to Kanye West who revealed it was “a great idea.”
“I threw it out to Kanye, and said we needed an artist development wing of Donda’s World, which was his bigger vision,” Rhymefest said. “We need something that spreads education and art. The fact that you have high schoolers that can go to football or basketball and the school supports them and it helps them get to college. What are we doing in the realm of music? There are more young people now that are into that than they are into athletics, so how are we supporting that? He thought it was a great idea. We created a non-profit, raised all the money—we didn’t ask Kanye for no money—and got it started.”