Kanye West, Common Join Forces To Bring 20,000 Jobs to Chicago Youth

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 04/16/2014 | 04:15 PM EDT

The two rappers to create opportunities for the more than 90 percent unemployed Black teens in Chicago

Rappers Kanye West and Common can now add job creators to their already impressive resumes.

The two MC’s have joined forces to bring 20,000 jobs to Chicago youth in a partnership between West’s company DONDA House Inc. and the Chicago Urban League. A recent study revealed that 92 percent of Chicago Black teens are unemployed, and with the amount of violence that has taken the lives of countless inner-city youth, the pair is hoping that their efforts will get them off the streets and on to a 9-5.


“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,” Common said, according to Poppinlines.com.

Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp said the jobs won’t just be for the summer, but are intended to last all year long. “We’ve had hearings and the kids have told us that they need jobs year-round,” Zopp said.

The rappers’ initiative is also expected to put on a yearly musical festival that will raise money to fund the jobs and other programs.

(Photos from Left: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images, Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Virgin Unite)

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