Rapper and Chicago native, Kanye West, announced plans to give back to troubled youth in his hometown this summer with the upcoming launch of the “Got Bars” music writing and production program.
In August, West’s nonprofit organization, Donda’s House — founded in honor of his late mother Dr. Donda West — and the ARK of St. Sabina community center, will kickoff a 10-week course open to youth ages 15 to 24. The “Got Bars” program aims to educate participants on how to write and record their own music and in turn help them to develop problem-solving skills. The program will also teach youth about the benefits of eating well, working out and other life skills.
West credits his mother’s passion to teaching as the inspiration behind the program. “My mom spent her life as an educator and I am happy Donda’s House can pick up the torch and honor her life’s mission,” West said in a statement early last week.
The Chi-town rapper has chosen Che “Rhymefest” Smith, co-founder and assistant director of Donda’s House to spearhead the program, along with his wife Donnie Smith. Rhymefest will oversee the music and production aspects of the 10-week course, while his wife Donnie, an English teacher, will serve as executive director.
“I am so happy to launch ‘Got Bars’ to honor Kanye West’s mother’s memory and to fulfill one of my Alder manic campaign goals,” said Rhymefest in a statement. “’Got Bars’ will change our youth musically, get them healthy and keep them busy in a creative, peaceful environment.”
Donda’s House will eventually release an EP featuring songs from the program’s participants. Applications for “Got Bars” will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 2. For more information on the program, visit the Donda’s House website.
(Photo: Kanye and mother, Donda West.)