"Rather than try to be a role model, I'd rather be a real model."
In an editorial published by ABC News, T.I. described the socio-economic conditions in his native Atlanta. Within the body of that text, the rapper née Clifford Harris challenged privileged Atlanta residents to take on greater responsibility within their communities. T.I.'s penchant for philanthropy is no secret. His latest venture is labeled "Buy Back the Block." With BBtB he hopes to repurpose impractical buildings and convert them into affordable housing units.
His anti-gentrification plan has plenty of support. Dynasty Real Estate Development and APD-Urban Planning and Management have been assembled to handle the logistical end of things, with T.I. undertaking the overhead and operational costs. Nine properties in total have already been purchased and earmarked for the project.
T.I. is also somewhat of a conservationist in the ATL area. The rapper recently teamed up with Killer Mike to save a local eatery from going out of business. The local eatery, Bankhead Seafood, was close to being shut down for violating a series of building codes, but T.I. and Killer Mike stepped in with plans to modernize the building layout.
"I have enough things going on where I don't have to chase sensationalism, I don't have to be provocative for no reason just because my personality lends itself to controversy," T.I. told ABC News. "Rather than try to be a role model, I'd rather be a real model."