Two things happened for Lil Baby on Wednesday, March 4: He had one of those full-circle life moments and gave back to his alma mater in one fell swoop.
The rapper returned to his former high school, Booker T. Washington in Southwest Atlanta, and gave $150,000 to the school for what’s being called the “My Turn” scholarship fund.
The donation was given with the backing of Quality Control, Amazon Music’s Rap Rotation, Motown Records and Wolfpack Global.
The name of the scholarship is taken from Lil Baby’s latest album “My Turn,” released on Feb. 28.
“From the time I left here to now, I’ve had a crazy journey,” he told Billboard. “Just to be able to come back on a positive note and actually touch this ground again and see some of these faces again … I can’t even explain it. I was once in a state where I knew for sure I wasn’t ever coming back here.”
“To be able to come, give back and be something and perform for children, that means everything to me,” added Lil Baby, who left school around the 10th grade.
He performed for the students as well, which they greatly appreciated, based on their reaction.
Lil Baby — who said he wants to make the same kind of donation to the school each year — then spoke about the importance of the money and why it’s so needed.
“A majority of the students in these neighborhoods, when they have good grades most of them don’t have support,” he explained. “They don’t have a family who can afford to [send them] to a good college or the college they want to go to.”
Dan Sims, an associate superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools, was interviewed as well and said he highly appreciates Lil Baby giving back. He also hopes it will inspire others in his field to do the same.
“To watch these students respond to Lil Baby, their artist — and I love him too — is just so gratifying,” said Sims. “We’re thinking years from now, what will the history say about Booker T. Washington High School.”
“Who knows what seeds were planted today as it relates to not just seeing him as a performer, but as a philanthropist,” he added. “I hope [this] puts some positive pressure on other rappers who came from some of these same classrooms and hallways to just give back a little bit.”