I’m sure by now you have all heard about Kanye West’s creative company Donda, named in memory of his mother. Well, right in Chicago, Kanye along with Che “Rhymefest” Smith has created Donda’s House Inc.
Donda’s House Inc. is an organization founded to offer opportunities for the youth in the arts. Rhymefest and Kanye created the program Got Bars which offers open mics, rap battles, and other creative outlets for budding artists. The organization is obviously inspired by Dr. Donda West, who was very inspirational to not only her son, but many others. She was an English professor with a doctorate in education as well as a curriculum designer, entertainment manager, and world traveler. Her main question was, “Is that your truth?” Dr. West believed that the arts helped to improve children’s analytical and creative capacity. Donda’s House tries to encourage, empower, and provide a safe environment for youth. Donda’s House also worked with Common’s Common Ground Foundation on AAHH! Fest. You can see Donda’s House at many positive events around Chicago.
Donda’s House recently launched its own non-profit record label called US Records. The label was created to make good and timeless music. According to Rhymefest, “Often artists get so caught up in the business of making records, that they are forced to compromise creatively. US Records was created by the people for the people.”
The first single is called Powered By Love. It is the first of what US Records is calling Song Gifts, which are meant to be positive songs for positive people. The song is performed by Shaina Jones, a young Chicago artist who participated in the first Got Bars program. The song was created in honor of Karen Lewis who is an important figure in Chicago Public Schools. She led the teachers union strike in 2012 and planned to run for mayor, but unfortunately has since been diagnosed with a brain tumor. This Song Gift is to encourage her.
US Records is intended for both new and established artists. There will be an internship program for graphic artists, aspiring attorneys, stylists, and managers. The first song can be heard at https://usrecordlabel.bandcamp.com/releases where you can also buy the song for just $1.
For more information about the label and Donda’s House you can go to dondashouseinc.org or follow on Twitter and Instagram @DondasHouse. They are located at the ARK of St. Sabina, 7800 S. Racine in Chicago. They are offering opportunities to volunteer. If you are interested email DondasHouseInc@gmail.com.
Here’s Shaina Jones “Powered By Love”: