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Rhymefest Buys Kanye West's Childhood Home For Arts Incubator

By Sam Cholke | November 25, 2016 1:03pm | Updated on November 28, 2016 8:23am
Che "Rhymefest" Smith announced Friday that he bought Kanye West's childhood home to turn into an arts incubator.
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Flickr/David Shankbone, DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali

SOUTH SHORE — Che “Rhymefest” Smith announced Friday that he’s bought Kanye West’s childhood home in South Shore with the intention of turning it into an arts incubator.

Smith made the announcement on Instagram Friday morning that West’s house would become part of the nonprofit Donda’s House, which was founded by West and Smith in honor of West's mother.

“We want to show bright spots in communities that have been divested from, we know more lights exist here, they just need to be activated,” Smith said on social media.

He said it is planned as the first of a series of spaces offering resources for youth.

“It will be the first of our nationwide Lite-Houses [with] a state of the art recording studio, a curriculum space for Donda’s House and South Side music museum,” Smith said.

Smith purchased the West’s childhood home earlier in November and made the announcement as the nonprofit makes a push to lure in the funders necessary to keep it up and running.

Donda’s House started an online fundraising campaign Friday, but did not provide figures for the money raised so far.

Smith said the goal is to find at least 50 repeat donors during Giving Tuesday, the day nonprofits nationally encourage their donors to give before the end of the year.

Smith has been increasingly pushing for the city and nonprofits to devote more resources to the South Side, particularly since the shooting death of Laquan McDonald and his own run-ins with police in August.

Few details about the program’s eventual scope were available on Friday and Smith was not available for a full interview. He said on Twitter that he would be giving more details in the coming weeks.

Smith and West were frequent collaborators during the early days of West's career.

West was not available to comment and offered no response on his Twitter.

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