Although he's made no public statement, many signs point to Kanye's next project being a private, tuition free K-12 school.
As early as September, it was reported by Simi Valley Acorn that Kanye is seeking to purchase a 4-acre parcel of land that holds a no longer operational academy called the Simi Valley Stoneridge Preparatory School, 30 minutes west of Los Angeles. Permits to run a school were issued by the county officials to "Donda Academy Inc.", in conjunction with an official school website that has recently gone up, have given us more reason to believe that this is coming to be. The site offers vague mission statements but no listing of actual courses that will be taught. See Donda Academy's home page below.
Several big name college prospects in the basketball world are already committing to play for Donda Academy, including 5-star recruits Jakhi Howard and Robert Dillingham, as well as Jalen Hooks and Zion Cruz. Though the school is not yet operational, talks are already beginning for Donda Academy to play basketball powerhouse Sierra Canyon at Staples Center, likely in February 2022. Keep in mind that Sierra Canyon's star is Bronny James, you know... Lebron's son.
There is no doubt that a game like this would immediately establish Donda Academy, not just as a premier landing spot for young athletes, but it would generate buzz to help it garner more students as time goes on. It should also be noted that High Snobiety has reported that Adidas, already a longtime collaborator with Kanye, is partnering on this project, to supply sports uniforms and other school apparel.
The question still arises, however, as Kanye once questioned Lady Gaga being chosen as the creative director of Polaroid, despite her inexperience with cameras, to paraphrase him, "what the f@#$ does Kanye know about schools?"
Another not small factor here would be that Donda West, Kanye's mother, was an English professor and English Department Chair at Chicago State University, so dedicating a school to her would very much be a fitting tribute.
Back in 2020, Kanye rolled out ads and merchandise for his Yeezy Christian Academy (YCA), which aimed to educate children in a Christian context, while also using "music, collaboration, creativity, faith, and communication." Though not much reporting has been done on YCA's success, a year later, and this kind of experience may not translate to building a prep school.
There is always the possibility that Donda Academy could become the next Bishop Sycamore in a way, a school that exists more in theory than reality, or that it could end up being some scam or money-grab scheme, a' la Trump University. There is always the potential that this private school, with all its attention and money and talent, could fall apart within a few years. And, although, we should always be hopeful when a new chance for children to gain an education opens up, we should be wary about the school's ability to genuinely prime these kids for the real world.
In this writer's opinion, the Donda Academy, whether it fails or succeeds, is an example of a man who will solidify and memorialize his mother's memory in every way possible, and who could blame him for that?
Written by Max Olarinde, @mobeige1 on all social media.