Donda’s House—the nonprofit co-founded by Kanye West, Rhymefest, and Donnie Smith that was named for Kanye’s late mother Donda West—has announced that it will no longer use the name “Donda’s House Inc.” The move comes in the midst of a social media feud between the organization’s creative director Rhymefest, and Kim Kardashian West.
“This has been an incredibly difficult decision but the social media quotes from Kim Kardashian West, as well as the expressed interest of her family running the organization, has brought us to this decision,” the statement reads. The organization announced its intentions to continue its work in Chicago in their “future endeavors,” which they plan to reveal in the “coming weeks.” Donda’s House was founded to provide arts and music programs for Chicago’s youth.
On Friday, Donda’s House published a post on its website titled “Statement Regarding Kanye West & Donda’s House Inc.” In the post, the organization addresses the outcry over Kanye’s recent political comments and how it has affected their plans to convert Kanye’s childhood home into a “community arts incubator.”
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. 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.
Curiously, the fissure between the organization and the Wests picked up after Rhymefest tweeted at Drake following the release of his Pusha-T diss track “Duppy Freestyle.” After Drake shared a literal invoice on Instagram, Rhymefest tweeted at Drake to air his own grievances with Kanye.
That’s when Kim Kardashian West wrote a series of tweets criticizing Rhymefest. “You’re over leveraging Kanye’s name & asked Kanye to donate money to u so stop w your fake community politics & lies,” she wrote. “Truth is you haven’t been able to sustain the foundation.” She later added, “You better believe I will make it my mission to take Donda’s House from you and let my children run it the way it should be run!”
Rhymefest responded to Kim directly in a statement. “At this point, if you and Kanye want us to dissolve the organization so that you can do the work, we welcome that,” he wrote. “We will continue from our home on the South Side of Chicago to do what we can to support the community we’ve worked five years to build in spite of you & Kanye’s lack of interest or support. You have been not privy to the conversations that we’ve had, the emails that have been sent, and frankly the positive press that Kanye has received as a result of our work.”
Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Kanye West, Rhymefest, and Donda’s House for comment.