Kanye West is perhaps one of the most controversial figures of our time: For anyone who's tried navigating it, the media's mostly-negative commentary surrounding Yeezy is unavoidable. That's why today, we're happy to report that West is doing something totally laudable. In conjunction with St. Sabina Church, West's charity, Donda's House, is launching a free music training program for at-risk youth in Chicago's South Side. The program, called "Got Bars?" offers opportunities for students ages 15-24 to write and record their own music.
Perhaps in response to Robert Hall's assertion that West has become completely disengaged from social action, abandoning his morally-charged lyrics to wax poetic about the fashion industry, West's program is as hands-on as it gets. The 10-week course will feature sessions spearheaded by rapper Rhymefest as well as exercise and nutritional advice from a yet-to-be-named former professional football player. "Got Bars?" may also expand to include programs in drama, dance, and art in subsequent sessions. After the program's completion, Donda's House will release an EP featuring the participants' songs.
The benefits of a program such as this are limitless: It's no secret that the opportunities for inner-city students feel inaccessible, even where they do exist. Here's hoping this is a new side of West we'll see more of in the future. (Rolling Stone)