Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist, actor and Atlanta native T.I. was honored at the Georgia State Capitol last Friday.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Democratic State Senator Donzella James sponsored a resolution applauding T.I. (née Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.), for spearheading several non-profit organizations, including Harris Community Works, which works with the disadvantaged, and For The Love of Our Fathers, which aids people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
T.I. is also credited for mentoring youth at local area schools in his hometown, hosting Thanksgiving turkey drives and delivering Christmas presents to families in need throughout Atlanta. He also started a real estate company called Buy Back The Block to help rebuild his old neighborhood in the Center Hill section of Atlanta.
T.I. is on a mission, and it has to do with rebuilding his old neighborhood in the Center Hill section of Atlanta. In 2017 he started a real estate company called Buy Back the Block, and considering what he’s accomplished already the name couldn’t be any more fitting.
In a recent interview, Tip said that he’s partnered with fellow Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and bought the Bankhead Seafood building, a beloved eatery that closed earlier this year after five decades of being in business.
On top of that, he purchased a number of lots in his old neighborhood and bought six buildings as well. So far Tip has spent over $2 million out of his own pocket, without any outside assistance and it seems he’s just now getting started.
“I grew up in the 1980s and ’90s in the Center Hill section of Atlanta, just off Bankhead Highway,” he told Inc. “Back then that part of town was considered the lower end of the middle class. After the crack era the community stalled, and from 1994 to 2012 it became an extremely desolate area for business. There’s no major grocery store chain, there’s no fresh produce, there’s no CVS, there are liquor stores.”
But the rapper said he doesn’t want to improve the area then make it so expensive that people can’t afford it. He wants to do the opposite, so those who’ve always been there don’t have to move.
“Now, with the BeltLine and Mercedes-Benz Stadium a stone’s throw away, there’s an incentive to redevelop,” T.I. explained. “But I didn’t want it to be one of those situations where luxury condos go up, and people who are native are pushed out to the fringes because they can’t afford to live there. I wanted to provide development that would allow people from the area who love the community to be able to afford to stay.”
Tip also said he’ll turn a lot of the buildings that he purchased into “mixed-use” housing, and it’s possible that two of the properties will be ready by the close of 2019. One building will have over 100 units and the other will have less.
In addition, the Grand Hustle founder is working with veteran real estate agent Krystal Peterson so that housing costs are kept affordable, and he’s doing other things like beautifying the neighborhood.
“Green spaces and gardens are incredibly important,” said T.I. “We want a movie theater, bowling, laser tag, stuff I didn’t have. I’m trying to build a community where the people within it can be proud. If they’re proud they’ll have more of a sense of wanting to maintain it.”
“I’d love to see children walk and play and live in green spaces,” he added. “I want to see senior citizens excited about the next generation. The only way to do that is to invest. Why wait for someone else to come into a community where I went to elementary school, where I rode my bike and played?”
And Los Angeles rapper Nipsey Hussle invested heavily in his Crenshaw neighborhood and opened Vector 90, a co-working space for young people, entrepreneurs and creatives of all types. The rapper Slim Thug has given back to his Houston community as well by launching Boss Life Construction, a company that builds quality, affordable homes in low-income neighborhoods.
According to T.I, he doesn’t want people in the Black community to equate success with escaping local problems, and he’ll try to be an example. “So many times our answer to fixing things is ‘I’m gonna make some money and leave all these people behind,’” he stated. “There’s rarely an intent to get rich and make where you came from better for generations to come. It’s extremely ambitious, but I’ve worked myself to a place where I should be the one leading the charge. In my mind, that’s what it means to be king.”
T.I.’s TIDAL x Money Talk & Education Challenge has paid off in a huge and inspiring way for youth across the globe.
The initiative, which was first announced in May, encouraged young people to submit proposals detailing their plans to promote educational awareness within their communities through on and offline education-based fundraising efforts. The contest ran from May 4 through June 15.
According to a press release from TIDAL, 86 participants got involved for their chance to win the challenge and T.I. will now keep his promise by matching the $35,000 in funds raised by the six finalists selected. T.I.’s $35K combined with the $46K+ that was raised by all 86 challenge participants brings the total amount donated through the TIDAL x Money Talk Education Challenge to more than $81,000.
Details on the six finalists’ organizations are as follows:
Fate Loves The Fearless – Education and mentorship program to help Detroit youth excel in school; funds raised will go towards the renovation of a new facility.
Shaw Inspires “Teen-Preneurs”– In-school, after school, weekend and summer mentoring and leadership program for youth ages 11-25; funds raised will help the program expand to Baltimore and Charleston.
The Musicianship’s 2016 Summer Camp – Summer camp that provides music lessons for young people; funds will be used to buy instruments, supplies, support music instructors, and provide a college scholarship.
Generation You Employed – Program that helps the unemployed youth with skills and job readiness in five countries (Kenya, India, Spain, Mexico and the United States); they plan to train one million unemployed young people and place them in jobs by 2020; funds raised will go towards expanding into Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.
John Legend and Tyrese Gibson were honored for their positive impact on the community at the Triumph Awards, which took place Saturday night in Atlanta and will air Oct. 3 on TV One.
Legend received the Presidential Award for service and humanitarian efforts. The Grammy-winning singer was not in attendance, but accepted his award in a pre-taped video sitting alongside the Rev. Al Sharpton. (The network collaborated with Sharpton and his National Action Network.)
Gibson was presented the entertainer of the year award by Martin Luther King III. After the singer was given the award, he took the stage to perform his single “Shame.”
The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery received the Chairman’s Award for historic and transformative service as a civil rights leader, while comedian Wanda Sykes was given the Activism in the Arts honor for years of service to youth homelessness and engagement within the LGBT community.
Intel chief diversity officer Rosalind Hudnell was presented with the Corporate Executive of the Year.
Actress Tichina Arnold of the Starz series “Survivor’s Remorse” hosted the show.
Rapper T.I. delivered a spoken-word piece titled “United We Stand,” urging youth to not lose focus and the meaning behind the Black Lives Matter movement.
Other performers included Tasha Cobbs, Ledisi, Jazmine Sullivan and Estelle. The Youth Ensemble of Atlanta unveiled “Put Your Guns Up,” a tribute recounting the victims of unfortunate deaths as a result of gun violence.
Grammy-winning jazz artist and producer Robert Glasper was the show’s musical director of the house band. Chante Moore and R&B singer Stokley Williams performed in a duet, singing a rendition of Donny Hathaway’s classic song “Someday We’ll All Be Free.”
Recording Artist/Host T.I. at AKOO’s 2nd Annual ‘A King Of Oneself Brunch’ Hosted By T.I. at Ocean Prime on September 30, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for AKOO Clothing)
Rapper T.I. will announce the launch of his global “Give Like a King” campaign this Friday. The rapper, actor and reality TV star is returning to his Bankhead neighborhood in Georgia to unveil his new campaign.
According to BCG, he is joining efforts with Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia (VEO) to help support homeless veterans. VEO is an organization that brings food, shelter, and services to veterans in need.