Entertainment

Inside Kanye West’s childhood home with his beloved late mother Donda

Kanye West is coming home again.

The controversial rapper is still working on his much-anticipated new album, “Donda,” inspired by his late mother and, possibly, his childhood home in Chicago.

Over the weekend, the 44-year-old hip-hop trailblazer sent fans a cryptic tease of the house as the long-delayed release of “Donda” looms, hinting at what fans can expect when it comes to his forthcoming music.

The Grammy winner deleted all of his past Instagram photos centered around the new album to share only one picture with his 7.4 million followers — of the home he grew up in with his beloved mama Donda West, the former professor and chair of the English and Speech Department at Chicago State University before her death at 58 in 2007.

West’s viral post now has more than 1.5 million likes and nearly 40,000 comments from diehard fans — and The Post has tracked down interior images of the property in the South Shore neighborhood.

The home features three bedrooms and one bathroom.
The home features three bedrooms and one bathroom.
Realtor.com

The 1,600-square-foot house has changed hands several times since it was last owned by West’s mother over 18 years ago when she sold it for $121,000 in 2003, property records show.  

Kanye West teases his childhood home in Chicago as his latest album "Donda" remains pending.
Kanye West teases his childhood home in Chicago as his latest album “Donda” remains pending. His Instagram post now has more than 1.5 million likes and nearly 40,000 comments from diehard fans.
Instagram

West lived in the house for about eight of his childhood years, according to his mother’s 2007 memoir, “Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar.” 

“I didn’t know it, but South Shore, and especially South Shore Drive, where we lived, was considered ‘the sh–,’ a prestigious area in a coveted part of town,” she wrote at the time. “We were within walking distance of Lake Michigan and our backyard backed up to Rainbow Park. It’s in the kitchen of that house that Kanye talks about kneeling on the kitchen floor and saying, ‘Mama, I’m gonna love you ‘til you don’t hurt no more.’”

Donda West and her son, hip-hop performer Kanye West attend a book signing for her book "Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar" on May 9, 2007 at Borders in Los Angeles, California.
Donda West and Kanye West attend a book signing for her book “Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar” on May 9, 2007, at Borders in Los Angeles.
Getty Images
Wild shrubs and greenery surround the front yard.
Wild shrubs and greenery surround the front yard.
Realtor.com
The main living area.
The main living area.
Realtor.com
The lone bathroom.
The bathroom.
Realtor.com

Over the last two decades, the home has since gone into foreclosure and languished — even when it was featured on a 2018 episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

In 2011, a camera crew even followed West as he visited the home with Jay-Z. Initially built in 1905, the home is situated on a 7,000-square-foot lot and is made up of three bedrooms and one bathroom. 

The main living area.
The dining area.
Realtor.com
One of the bedrooms.
One of the bedrooms.
Realtor.com

Donda sold the home after her son had a run-in with some boys at Rainbow Beach Park, who demanded his bike and then slashed his tires when he refused to give it up. 

“Call it black flight or whatever, I was ready to go,” Donda wrote. “What if the next step was to recruit him for some gang or something? I wasn’t having it. It didn’t take long to find the house in Blue Island.” 

The home was sold less than a year before Kanye released his 2004 debut studio album, “The College Dropout.”

The backside of the home.
The back of the home.
Realtor.com
The backyard with a shed.
The backyard with a shed.
Realtor.com

His mom died five years later after undergoing cosmetic surgery.

In 2013, West launched Donda’s House with co-founder Rhymefest, a nonprofit youth arts organization. Donda’s House would then purchase the South Shore home in 2016 to turn it into a community arts incubator. But the organization said in 2017 the house had to be demolished because it suffered from “significant structural damage.” The home had already gone through foreclosure in the years prior. 

An old photo of Kanye West alongside his late mother, Donda West.
An old photo of Kanye West alongside his late mother, Donda West.
MUST READ – Jeff Rayner/Coleman-
Kanye West, alongside his mom, Donda after winning Best Rap Solo Performance for "Gold Digger," Best Rap Song for "Diamonds From Sierra Leone," and Best Rap Album for "Late Registration", at The 48th Annual Grammy Award ceremony.
Kanye West, alongside his mom, Donda, after winning Best Rap Solo Performance for “Gold Digger,” Best Rap Song for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” and Best Rap Album for “Late Registration,” at the 48th annual Grammy award ceremony.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com

After some controversy with the organization, Kanye officially purchased back the home for $225,000 with plans to renovate it in 2019 under his LLC, Donda Services. 

Shortly after, the city took notice of the South Shore house and filed a demolition court complaint in January 2019. The report from July 2018 found roof damage, missing siding and issues with the stairs, among other alleged problems.

The front door.
The front door.
Realtor.com
The sidewalk seen in front of the home.
The sidewalk in front of the home.
Realtor.com

But fortunately, the city approved a permit in October 2019 to replace the roof; a permit in November 2019 to fix electrical wiring and a renovation permit in April 2020, nearly two months after the stop-work order was issued.

While the home continues renovations, Kanye still appears to be working on the album. 

Kanye West is seen at ‘DONDA by Kanye West’ listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kanye West is seen at “DONDA by Kanye West” listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021, in Atlanta.
Getty Images for Universal Music

Earlier this month, the star livestreamed another listening party for “Donda” from Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but the album has yet to hit streaming services. 

In his first listening party last month, Kanye got emotional when performing one of his songs from the album — “Love Unconditionally” — crying as he was rapping about “losing my family.”

Another still from "DONDA by Kanye West" listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Another still from “DONDA by Kanye West” listening event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021, in Atlanta.
Getty Images for Universal Music

But fans aren’t holding their breath, including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model Tinashe, whose anticipated new album, “333,” actually did drop on time.

“I’ve been a Kanye fan in the past,” she previously told The Post, “but I’m definitely not a fan of maybe some of the decisions he’s made throughout his career. But I’m excited to see what he brings sonically with the new album because if there’s one thing Kanye does, it’s art well.

“So I’m interested to receive his art whenever he’s ready to give it to us,” she said.

The Post has reached out to West’s reps for comment.


nypost.com

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button