In recent years Chicago has been getting more notoriety for its increase in gang violence than the great music and talented artist it has produced, Chicago has seen a huge spike in youth gang violence throughout the city, the Chicago Urban League attributes this to the fact that over 90% of Chicago’s black male teens are unemployed. What makes the violence across the city ever more surprising is that many up and coming rappers are becoming victims of the increasing violence as well, on April 9th Chief Keef’s cousin Big Glo became the latest Chicago rapper who was murdered on the streets of Chicago in a hail of gunfire.
With all of the tragedy that has hit Chicago, two hip hop legends from Chicago have come together to try to help their city’s youth in an incredible way. Kanye West and Common have come together to help create more than 20,000 jobs for the city’s youth, Kanye’s company “Donda’s House” and Common’s “Common Ground Foundation” have joined forces with The Chicago Urban League in aiding the city’s youth with this incredible initiative. They also will be throwing a music festival in Hyde Park Chicago called the “AAHH!” Fest which will be held September 20-21. During a press conference at The Museum for Contemporary Arts Common said the following:
“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.”
Andrea Zoop, President and CEO of the urban League commented on the need for this program:
“Every year, we hold a hearing where young people in the summer jobs programs come and talk about the impact the jobs had on their lives. But this year, it highlighted another issue we just haven’t focused on,”
“And that was that their need for a job doesn’t end in September. They have needs to support their families, take care of themselves. They want to work year-round. So in our community, we have to focus on that topic,”
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