Frazier “Trae Tha Truth” Thompson III will be the recipient of the Change Maker Award at this year’s Billboard Music Awards. The Houston native is being recognized for his activism, philanthropy, and community-based work.
The Billboard Change Maker Award is presented to an artist or group that “speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity, and community.” Run The Jewels emcee Michael “Killer Mike” Render was the inaugural Change Maker Award winner in 2020.
Besides being a veteran rapper, Trae Tha Truth has also fully embraced his role as a social activist. He was on the frontlines during the 2020 #BlackLivesMatter protests. Trae and others called for the police officers who killed George Floyd in Minneapolis as well as the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville to be held accountable for their actions that led to the death of those unarmed African-Americans.
Trae Tha Truth was among the protesters arrested in Louisville last July for demonstrating outside the residence of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. He was taken into custody again in August for continuing to seek justice for Breonna Taylor who was gunned down in her own home by cops during a botched raid.
In addition, Trae Tha Truth stepped up for his fellow Texans after a deadly winter storm that struck the state in February 2021. Trae’s Relief Gang program helped provide meals, water, generators, bags of charcoal, wood, and other supplies for families in need at that time.
“Trae exemplifies what it means to be the change you want to see,” said Datwon Thomas, Billboard Music Awards Consulting Producer/Vibe Magazine Editor-In-Chief.
Thomas added, “[Trae Tha Truth] is always in a city near you, helping those in need after natural disasters, fighting for justice after tragic events, and giving supplies to families to make it to another day. His name, ‘Tha Truth’ fits perfectly with who he is as a community activist and we are honored to celebrate his tireless efforts and giving spirit.”
In addition to receiving the Billboard Change Maker Award, Trae Tha Truth’s Angel By Nature non-profit is partnering with the Billboard Music Awards to create the first-ever official award show non-fungible token. Beginning BBMAs weekend, fans will be able to purchase Trae Tha Truth Change Maker Award NFTs via Bitski for a limited time. The proceeds from all NFT sales will be donated to Angel by Nature.
The 2021 Billboard Music Awards are scheduled to air on Sunday, May 23 at 8 pm ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Hip Hop superstar Drake will be celebrated as the Artist Of The Decade for the 2010s, and Pop performer P!nk will accept the ICON Award. R&B singer The Weeknd goes into the ceremony with the most nominations (16).