T.I. is an American success story who has devoted his life to utilizing his platform to improve his community. In a new ABC News profile, the rapper, born Clifford Harris, shares how his past life as a hustler living in the downtrodden Center Hill neighborhood made him who he is today.
T.I. is working hard for his city https://t.co/fQo5u9k4Yt
He bumrushed the rap scene in 2001, helping strengthen Atlanta’s chokehold on the game and now he is a voice of the people with campaigns focused on eliminating the lasting effects of the drug war and mass incarceration on inner-city communities.
T.I.P. is devoted to various business ventures tackling homelessness, gentrification and the increasing number of food deserts in Atlanta. His charitable organization, K.I.N.G., helps homeless veterans and provides educational options for those in need.
Tip’s latest business venture is a series of revitalization projects that will create a grocery store, build affordable housing and create job opportunities. As he told Inc., the “Buy Back the Block” initiative has purchased nine properties to do just that.
In his old neighborhood, where home prices have skyrocketed due to gentrification, T.I. is on a mission to buy and flip as many buildings as he can and turn them into affordable housing. https://t.co/M1VQJ57idp
Rapper Killer Mike, Dynasty Real Estate Development and APD-Urban Planning and Management are also involved in the series of real estate projects aimed at helping black Atlanta residents.
“With as much growth and opportunity that’s going on in my community — and, you know, Mike’s community as well — we refuse to be left behind,” he said.
Atlanta had seen its population explode and become a destination place for people from all over the county, creating an increased need for new attractions, more housing, and jobs, but these revitalization efforts have targeted mostly white people and overwhelmingly left out poor, black ATLiens.
T.I. says he wants to make sure that the needs of lower income Blacks aren’t swallowed up by Atlanta’s rapid growth. Around the end of 2019, T.I. wants to have a residential property with at least 100 units and he wants to also work with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to create jobs in the area.
T.I., who now goes by the name Tip, took ABC News’ “Nightline” to his old community and talked about his career and giving back.
“Now, with the BeltLine and Mercedes-Benz Stadium a stone’s throw away, there’s an incentive to redevelop. 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,” he said. “I wanted to provide development that would allow people from the area, who love the community, to be able to afford to stay.”