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Kanye West’s Childhood Home Bought for ‘Community Arts Incubator’

Hip-hop artist Rhymefest plans to make the Chicago site into a recording studio, school and music museum

Kanye West’s friend and frequent collaborator, hip-hop artist Rhymefest, announced Friday that he has purchased the rap superstar’s childhood home on the South Side of Chicago with plans to convert the space into a “community arts incubator.”

Rhymefest, born Che Smith, told his Instagram followers: “I’m excited to announce the purchase of Kanye’s childhood home as a community Arts incubator. 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 museam [sic].

“We want to show bright spots in communities thatve been divested from, we know more Lights exist here, they just need to be activated,” added the artist, whose songwriting credits include West’s “Jesus Walks” (which won a Grammy for Best Rap Song) and “Glory,” the winner of 2014’s Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. “Please click the link in my bio & Donate to DondasHouse, support our efforts to support our youth. #givingtuesday.”

The location will also be a tentative hub for the Donda House Program, a youth-oriented organization named in honor of West’s mother.

Donda’s House was designed to provide access to premium arts instruction to youth ages 14-24 with varying degrees of music writing, performing and recording experiences.