Houston hip-hop artist Trae Tha Truth announced that he would donate an undisclosed amount toward endowing 75 college scholarships for qualifying high school students. Trae (born Frazier Othel Thompson III) made the announcement on July 22 during the celebrations of “Trae Day,” a day set aside to honor the rapper for his contributions to his hometown. This year marks the tenth anniversary of Trae Day, so the rapper wanted to make a big splash with the donation.
Several local and national celebrities joined in the Trae Day celebration. Drake, who was in town for his annual Houston Appreciation Weekend, took part in the festivities, as did actor/comedian Nick Cannon and U.S. Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Congresswoman Shiela Jackson Lee also joined in commemorating the event at Discovery Green, Houston’s largest downtown park.
The scholarship effort is part of the Houston Public Library’s Hip-Hop for Literacy program, which encourages youngsters to read.
“We’re trying to find a way to excite people,” Trae told a local TV station. “Our reading rates are really low when you look at the stats. Sometimes, you have to give people that push to be excited.”
This year’s Trae Day comes just a few weeks after the rapper’s latest album dropped. Trae calls “Tha Truth Pt. 3” his “best album to date” and “one of the most personal albums I’ve ever made.”
“It’s very personal,” he said. “ I talk about family, like my brother who was murdered, and I talk about the ups and downs I’ve gone through to get to where I am now.”
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The new album features a number of collaborators, both from the Houston hip-hop talent pool and from other source. Other rappers appearing on the album include D.R.A.M., Lil Durk, Maxo Kream, Post Malone, Royce 5’9″, Tee Grizzley, and Young Thug.