Kanye West protégé Rhymefest has purchased The Life of Pablo rapper’s childhood home in Chicago with plans to convert the location into a “community arts incubator” and the permanent home of West’s Donda’s House organization.
“I’m excited to announce the purchase of Kanye’s childhood home as a community Arts incubator,” Rhymefest wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the rapper sitting outside the house.
“It will be the first of our Nationwide Lite-Houses. A state-of-the-art recording studio, a curriculum space for @dondashouse and Southside music museum. We want to show bright spots in communities that’ve been divested from, we know more Lights exist here, they just need to be activated.”
Rhymefest also set up a donation page for the Donda’s House project so people can “invest in Chicago’s creative future.”
“Donda’s House envisions this facility as not only a homegrown hub of economic activity for the southside but also a gathering place for the community with events and concerts,” the organization said of the purchase. “Donda’s House selected this location in particular, because it is the former home of the organization’s namesake Dr. Donda West, who at one time provided similar services and support to incubate young artists. Donda’s House is committed to the success of Chicago’s young creatives and this property will help these young people flourish.”
In a recent interview with Billboard, Rhymefest, who operates Donda’s House with his wife Donnie Smith, spoke about the influence Donda West had on his career – “She activated who I am now. It was like she touched my forehead and brought the light out,” the rapper said of Kanye’s mother – and why he purchased the West home in the South Shore neighborhood.
“This is what I live for. I love these kids. I can’t be 50 and training 19-year-olds about rap. I might not even like rap then. I need to train my replacement,” Rhymefest said, adding that the election of Donald Trump has raised the “consciousness level” in the community. “This is the beginning of the rebuilding of our community.”