WATCH NOW: Rapper T.I. & ATL Music Project on NPR’S Tiny Desk Concert Series

T.I., accompanied by AMP musicians, performing his Tiny Desk session at NPR heaquarters in Washington D.C.

Today, NPR released the live recording of Atlanta rapper T.I.’s Tiny Desk concert. The recording features T.I. performing his set alongside seven musicians from the Atlanta Music Project whose mission is to empower underserved youth in their own neighborhoods while instilling in them lasting confidence, creativity and ambition. The set list includes T.I.’s hits “Rubberband Man,” “What You Know,” and “Live Your Life.” T.I. personally invited the Atlanta Music Project musicians to perform with him, following an introduction to the organization by Cricket Wireless, a subsidiary of AT&T.

“It’s important that we provide ways for the next generation to continue to build, shape and cultivate their dreams so they can do it for the next generation,” T.I. said in support of the Atlanta Music Project as it works to fill a void in the underserved communities he grew up in and has worked hard to give back to since becoming famous.

Atlanta Music Project’s young musicians performing alongside T.I. are: 14-year-old Lailah Carter, violinist, and Brent Cameron, cellist; 16-year-old violinists Landon Isaiah Wilkins and Nehemiah Wiggins, violinist Nyasjah Breshay Brooks, and trombonist Corey Lewis Jones Jr.; and 17-year-old violinist Ashley Sierra Gibson.

Photo courtesy of Emilia Brock/WABE.

Photo courtesy of Emilia Brock/WABE.

For the musicians of the Atlanta Music Project, their all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. was sponsored by Cricket Wireless. After Cricket began to explore working with the Atlanta Music Project in early July 2018, they made the connection with T.I., who had the idea to invite the AMP musicians to perform with him in his upcoming Tiny Desk concert.

“Cricket Wireless is proud to support the Atlanta Music Project and their mission, and to help create opportunities to shine a spotlight on these very talented young musicians,” said Erica Crosling, Cricket Wireless spokesperson.

“When our young musicians found out they were going to perform with T.I. they were ecstatic. They’ve worked hard at their craft for many years and this is a moment that makes it all worth it,” said Dantes Rameau, co-founder and executive director of the Atlanta Music Project. He continued, “thank you to T.I. for giving our students and program this platform, and thank you to Cricket Wireless for their support, which made this all possible.” Founded in 2010 and now in its ninth year of programming, the Atlanta Music Project provides more than 5,000 hours annually, of intensive, tuition-free music education to 500 underserved youth right in their neighborhood.

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Tiny Desk is the popular series of concerts recorded live at the desk of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” host Bob Boilen. Artists ranging from Adele to Chance the Rapper and Chris Stapleton have recorded episodes for the series. For more information on NPR’s Tiny Desk https://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/

About T.I. Harris

Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., known professionally as T.I., is a Grammy Award winnng Atlanta rapper and actor. Harris signed his first record deal in 1999, with Arista, a subsidiary of LaFace. Upon being released from Arista, Harris signed to Atlantic and subsequently became the CEO of his own label imprint, Grand Hustle Records, which he launched in 2003. Harris is also perhaps best known as one of the artists who popularized the hip hop subgenre Trap Music, along with Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane.

Harris has released nine albums, with seven of them reaching the top five of the US Billboard 200 chart. Throughout his career, Harris has also released several highly successful singles, including “Live Your Life (featuring Rihanna), “Dead and Gone” (featuring Justin Timberlake), “Ball” (featuring Lil Wayne) and “No Mediocre” (featuring Iggy Azalea). Harris began to gain major recognition in 2003, following his first high-profile feature, on fellow Atlanta-based rapper Bone Crusher’s hit single, “Never Scared”. Harris earned more prominence with the release of Trap Muzic (2003), which includes the hits, “Rubber Band Man” and “Let’s Get Away.”

Harris’ sixth album, Paper Trail (2008), became his most successful project, with the album being certified gold for first-week sales of over 500,000 copies in the United States, additionally making it his third consecutive number one album. In 2013, Harris was featured on Robin Thicke’s hit single “Blurred Lines” alongside Pharell Williams which peaked at number one on several major music charts. In November 2013, Harris announced that he had signed with Columbia Records after his 10-year contract with Atlantic came to an end. He released his Columbia Records debut, Paperwork, in October 2014. In February 2016, Harris announced he signed a distribution deal with Roc Nation to release his tenth album. Harris has won three Grammy Awards: Best Rap Solo Performance, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Rap Sung/Collaboration

Harris has also had a successful acting career, starring in the films ATL, Takers, Get Hard, Identity Theft, and Ant-Man. He is also a published author, having written two novels Power & Beauty (2011) and Trouble & Triumph (2012). In 2009, Billboard ranked him as the 27th Artist of the 2000s decade.

Community Work

In addition to helping with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, T.I. worked with troubled youths at Paulding Detention Center in Atlanta, and provided scholarships for single parent families at the Boys and Girls Club. T.I. has also visited a number of middle schools and high schools in Georgia, where he speaks with the students in assembly holding a positive message, while maintaining a philanthropic view about morals and growing up in the same areas as himself. In June 2005, The Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes Foundation, and Atlanta’s V-103 honored T.I. with the 2005 Lisa Lopes Award for groundbreaking achievements in music and community service. Through his music career, T.I. has remained active in community charity efforts. In January he was appointed to Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ transition team, which advised her primarily during the first 100 days in office.

About the Atlanta Music Project

Founded in 2010, the Atlanta Music Project provides more than 5,000 hours annually, of intensive, tuition-free music education for underserved youth right in their neighborhood. AMP’s mission is to empower underserved youth to realize their possibilities through music.

Now serving 350 students through eight programs, AMP provides all its students with an instrument, a teaching artist, classes in Symphony Orchestra; AMPlify, the choral program of the Atlanta Music Project; the AMP Academy, providing advanced musical training to AMP’s most talented and dedicated students; and the AMP Summer Series, a music festival and school.

AMP music ensembles perform 40 concerts per year. Its members have participated in Georgia All-State ensembles and have performed in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Aspen and Mexico. In 2015 Clayton State University established the Atlanta Music Project Endowed Scholarships, providing college scholarship funds for AMP students. AMP’s program partners include the City of Atlanta Department of Parks & Recreation, and The Kindezi Schools.

AMP is the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders award. In 2016 and 2017 the White House named AMP one of the top 50 after-school arts programs in the nation. For more information: www.atlantamusicproject.org

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