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Kanye West and Rhymefest Launch Music Program for Chicago Youth

Kanye West Rhymefest
Larry Busacca, Getty Images / Facebook

Kanye West and Rhymefest have teamed up to launch a music program for at-risk youth in their hometown of Chicago.

Donda’s House, named after West’s late mother, Dr. Donda West, and Chicago’s ARK of St. Sabina community center will launch a 10-week free music writing program called “Got Bars.” reports that the music writing course will help students between 15 to 24 years old develop problem-solving skills.

“Art instruction and particularly music instruction leads people to become better problem solvers, more flexible,” said Donnie Smith, Executive Director of Donda’s House. “There are just so many outcomes that come from the study of music and particularly music writing.”

Smith is also the wife of Rhymefest (real name Che Smith) who is teaching the “Got Bars” course, which will also educate students about the benefits of exercise, good health and other valuable life skills.

“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,” said Rhymefest in a statement. “‘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.”

West concurs and added, “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.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the pilot program until Aug. 2. For more information go to

West and Rhymefest have history together. The two artists once teamed up to create the Grammy-winning spiritual hit ‘Jesus Walks‘ in 2004.

It’s great to see two prominent rappers partner up and give back to their beloved city of Chicago.

Next: 10 Rappers with Roots in Chicago

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