Kanye West, Common Collaborating To Boost Job Rate For Chicago Youth


Adelle Platon | April 17, 2014 - 6:00 pm

Kanye West and Common are doing more g.o.o.d. for their native Chicago. According to Chicago Sun-Times, Common’s Common Ground Foundation, and ‘Ye’s charity, Donda’s House, are teaming up to help rapper Rhymefest and his wife host an annual music festival as part of a city-wide initiative to put more of Chi-town’s youth to work.

A January 2014 report, showing the jarring unemployment rate for the city’s youth, specifically young black males of which 92% are jobless, sparked the partnership. In addition to the music show fundraiser, summer job programs will offer employment to those aged 16 to 24. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday (April 16) that One Summer Chicago would offer 22,000 youth jobs this summer.

“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.

“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.”

The partnership will launch with 1,000 jobs this summer with the goal of adding jobs yearly over the next four years, “to impact 15,000 youths within five years.”

The inaugural AAHH! Fest fundraiser will be held Sept. 20-21.

Read the full report here.