Giving Back: Rapper T.I. Brings New Life To The Community Where He Grew Up
Elevate Your Potential Magazine
Rapper T.I., whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. grew up in the 1980s and ’90s in the Center Hill section of Atlanta, Georgia, just off Bankhead Highway. 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.
Affordable Housing for People From the Area
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. I wanted to provide development that would allow people from the area, who love the community, to be able to afford to stay.
I partnered with [Atlanta rapper] Killer Mike and other developers to purchase the Bankhead Seafood building. There is a corner where I have an assemblage of lots that I acquired with another partner. There’s another, bigger lot that I am acquiring on my own. I’ve gone in on six buildings and spent more than $2 million. I don’t have private equity financing or anything like that. It’s my personal finances and sweat equity.
Investing in His Hometown Community
Following successes in the arts and as co-founder of fashion brand AKOO, T.I. has spent about $2.7 million since 2017 to buy six properties and plots of land in Center Hill, where he grew up. (One is a former Kmart where he’d bought toys.) “What [Under Armour founder] Kevin Plank and his Sagamore Development Company are doing to revitalize Baltimore has been a nice example,” T.I. says. He was also on Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’s transition team, working on job creation and economic development issues. | Read the full story…. inc.com
- Rapper 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.
Along with being a co-owner of the streaming music service Tidal, T.I.’s company is cultivating the next generation of young artists, producing TV and film and investing in everything from technology to fashion to real estate.
Atlanta’s hip-hop “King” just inked a deal with Fox Sports Southeast to promote the Atlanta Hawks though a new advertising campaign.
FLiK’s founder, Ryan Felton, said, “I’ve known TIP socially for awhile, and now I’m pleased to say that we’ll be working together to revolutionize the entertainment industry as we know it.”