Kanye West is putting his star power to good use. In August, the 36-year-old rapper and Chicago native will launch, ‘Got Bars’ a music and writing production program targeting at risk and troubled Chicago youth. Via’Donda’s House’,West is partnering with the ARK of St.Sabina Community Center for a free 10-week program that will offering young people ages 15-24 years old, a safe and constructive outlet. The program aims in teaching how to write and record their own music and develop problem solving skills. The program will also teach other general life skills such as lifestyle, health and fitness.
West credited his mother as inspiration for the program:
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.
Spearheading the program will be fellow rapper and Chi-town native Che ‘Rhymefest’ Smith who also is co-founder and assistant director of Donda’s House. His wife Donnie Smith, an English teacher will oversee steer the program, while Rhymefest will work with the students on the musical portion. Smith said in a statement,
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. ‘Got Bars’ will change our youth musically, get them healthy and keep them busy in a creative, peaceful environment. I know it will be an even stronger program because of our partnership with the ARK of St. Sabina.Art instruction and particularly music instruction leads people to become better problem solvers, more flexible. There are just so many outcomes that come from the study of music and particularly music writing.”
Participants will also produce an original piece of music that will be recorded, published and performed, with the program set to release an EP featuring their songs. Rhymefest co-wrote West’s Grammy winning song, ‘Jesus Walks’ and ran for political office in 2011.