T.I has never been to college but he will soon be the head of the class. The self-proclaimed King of Atlanta is taking his talents to a historically black college in his hometown and will be adding a new title to his resume: professor. Billboard reports that Tip will be teaching a new class titled the “Business of Trap Music” at Clark Atlanta University beginning this fall. The “Rubberband Man” rapper will be teaching the class alongside professor Dr. Melva K. Williams who is also a hip-hop scholar. The course will focus on the rise of the southern subgenre in hip-hop and the economics behind it.
“I’m excited to share my experiences and whatever resources or information I have that can be an asset for the future,” T.I said in a statement. “Drugs have existed for as long as humans have been on earth and music has existed for quite some time as well. The commonality that threads the two together is what makes trap music a dominant force in culture today.”
T.I is Known as a Pioneer in Trap Music
The “Expeditiously With Tip “T.I” Harris” podcast host is known as one of the first rappers who pioneered trap music with songs that tell the stories of what it’s like to live the street life.
“My intention was to take my lifestyle and turn that into a philosophical presentation of music, so other people going through similar experiences wouldn’t feel alone or alienated,” he added. “When we were coming up, the only artists coming from Atlanta was OutKast, Goodie Mob, and booty-shaking music. The first person to do it is always going to have the hardest time. After me, it was much easier for Jeezy and Gucci [Mane] to be accepted.”
T.I Opened the “Trap Music Museum” in Atlanta
In 2018, T.I opened the Trap Music Museum in his hometown. The landmark is described as “a hybrid art gallery and interactive exhibit, displaying realistic scenes that are symbolic of the sound and life style that originated in the ATL” on their website. The Family Hustle star opened the museum to celebrate the 15th anniversary of his debut album, Trap Muzik.
The museum recreates different scenes that rappers like Tip, Jeezy and Waka Flocka Flame saw on a daily basis. Their exhibits include “Grandma’s Living Room,” a welcome area that looks like a Bankhead corner store, Jeezy’s Room, a mock kitchen when crack cocaine is cooked and a replica of T.I’s gun closet before it was raided in 2007. There’s also portraits of rappers like 2 Chainz, Future, Migos, Jeeezy, 21 Savage, Rick Ross, Webbie, Pusha T and Meek Mill. The space also includes an “Escape the Trap” escape room.
Krystal Garner, the museum’s general manager, told Curbed Atlanta that the museum has about 6,000 visitors every weekend.
“When you go into a museum, you get some historical moments, some cool photo opportunities, and you leave the experience,” she said. “With us, you have actors that all have specific roles that entertain you throughout the experience. And then we have our bar. People who’ve been here before will come to just watch a game or chill out just for the experience and the music.”