Common, Kanye West

Chicago’s socio-economic troubles are no secret. In fact, a recent study showed that 92% of young black males in the city are jobless, but some of Chi Town’s biggest rap names are coming together to work on a solution.

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Common’s Common Ground Foundation and Kanye West’s Donda’s House charity (run by fellow rapper Rhymefest and his wife) have teamed up with the Chicago Urban League to create thousands of jobs for the youth of Chicago. These will include over 20,000 summer jobs, but most importantly, 1,000 year-round employment opportunities.

The initiative will also include an annual music festival-slash-fundraiser, the AAHH! Fest, which will be held in Hyde Park, Chicago on September 20-21. Here’s what Common had to say about the program at the press conference last Wednesday (April 9):

Any time I hear of innocent people getting shot and killed and young people with guns, it hurts. I felt I have to do more than just write songs about Chicago. 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.

[via Chicago Sun-Times]

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