Unless you reside from outside the continental United States, the violence that transpires in Chicago on the regular has not flown underneath your radar. Street rappers proudly nickname the President Obama’s hometown “Chi-Raq,” where as Moguldom Films conducted extensive research to find the root of the problem in their documentary Gunland.

Two of music’s biggest stars and actual Chicago natives in Kanye West and Common are looking to reroute some positive energy in the bleak city’s inner canals. The two have collaborated together on epic occasions, (Common signing to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label, resulting in his most acclaimed album; 2005’s Be) but their next planned merger won’t be a recording situation.

Kanye’s DONDA Foundation and Common’s organization Common Ground are joining forces to give young people 20K reasons why they should stay out of the streets.


Via The Grio:

Partnering up with Chicago’s Urban League, the two performers want to bring 20,000 jobs to the city streets which have claimed the lives of countless inner-city youth for years.

Common told, “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.”

“It’s one thing to provide summer jobs for these kids, but we’re trying to provide year-round jobs,” said Andrea Zopp, CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “We’ve had hearings and the kids have told us that they need jobs year-round.”

Fans who are always on their best behavior need not worry, however. There will be a music festival to promote this grand initiative this fall.

Photo: WENN