Donda’s House, the non-profit co-founded by Kanye West and named after his mother, Donda, will no longer use her name after another co-founder got into a Twitter feud with Kim Kardashian.
The charity, founded in 2011 to provide “unprecedented access and education from leading experts in the arts, culture & entertainment industry to Chicago’s creative youth,” posted a statement Friday in an attempt to distance itself from the rapper and his recent political statements.
“While we cannot and do not speak for Kanye West and his views, we can and will speak up for the youth that we serve. We ask that those who feel hurt, angered by or frustrated with Kanye West not penalize or throw away their support, respect and advocacy for us,” the group said.
“We ask that as you boycott and protest Kanye West, that you not forget that we are a non-profit organization that like other non-profits needs donations, corporate support and volunteers. We do not want your rejection of Kanye West to be a rejection of Dr. Donda West and the thousands of lives she impacted including her own son.”
Donda’s House also said the rapper hadn’t provided the money to convert his childhood home into a recording studio, despite “early conversations about his plan of support and advocacy of the youth in our programs.”
In response, West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, stepped in to defend the rapper.
“U haven’t been right since u got kicked out of the studio in Hawaii wearing fake Yeezy’s,” she tweeted at co-founder Rhymefest.
“You’re (overleveraging) Kanye’s name & asked Kanye to donate money to u so stop w your fake community politics & lies. Truth is you haven’t been able to sustain the foundation. I saw you at our studio a few weeks ago so why didn’t you bring this up then @RHYMEFEST ? You were trying to get Kanye to listen to your sub par beats. You have the audacity to use Kanye’s mom name to try to shead a negative light on Kanye.”
Rhymefest, whose real name is Che Smith, responded to the reality TV star and said she had never been part of the organization’s work.
“Understand that the mission of Donda’s House has always been the value of collaboration, community and empowering youth to pursue their creative goals and dreams. What part about that would make it worthy of you or anyone else destroying it?” he wrote on Twitter.
“I encourage you, instead of attacking me personally, to Google us, watch the videos on our YouTube channel featuring our work and come actually speak to the young people who have been involved in our program before you, in your position from God knows where in the world, via social media attempt to dismantle this valued community asset.”
Kardashian again replied and said that her husband had originally paid Rhymefest to run Donda’s House but, when he was no longer to afford the salary, handed the charity over to his co-founder. She also accused Rhymefest of using Donda’s “name to publicly shame (Kanye) while pretending to do good.”
Rhymefest, though, had the last laugh, issuing a statement Saturday that the charity would no longer beat Donda’s name.
“This has been an incredibly difficult decision but the social media quotes from Kim Kardashian West, as well as the expressed interested of her family running the organization, has brought us to this decision,” the statement read.
“Over the last five years, we have put our students and our community first. We’d like to thank all of our supporters, and we assure you that our hearts have always been with the City of Chicago and we will continue to support youth in our future endeavors. We encourage Kim and Kanye to indeed pick up the baton of service.”