Awards

Trae Tha Truth Accepts Change Maker Award at 2021 Billboard Music Awards

Trae Tha Truth accepted the second-ever Change Maker Award at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (May 23).

Tina Knowles-Lawson presented the award to the 40-year-old rapper and honored his natural disaster relief work during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, saying he has "a heart as big as Texas." A video package showed Beyoncé with her eldest daughter Blue Ivy and Knowles-Lawson helping Trae support their Houston hometown before cutting to footage from Minnesota, where the rapper organized a march to call for justice in the name of his dear friend George Floyd that had more than 60,000 people in attendance with only two days' notice.

"Another day, another blessing," he began his acceptance speech. "I said if I ever had a position, I'd be there for those in need. ... I'm one of those who represent the struggle of the less fortunate. And what I will say when it comes to change is it's important, that's why this award is so important to me. It's important to change people's lives, it's important to change the thoughts of those who give up at times, and it's important to change things that wasn't designed for our best interest.... It's time for us to change the narrative and control our own story."

He went on to dedicate the award to a multiple of his close friends, including fallen rappers Nipsey Hussle and DMX.

Furthermore, the Billboard Music Awards partnered with the rapper and The Most Famous Artist to create the first-ever awards show NFT, which is available to purchase here. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Trae's Angel by Nature nonprofit, a Houston-based organization he founded in 2018 that "suppl[ies] the Houston community with relief efforts ranging from living conditions, education, to personal health and motivation."

"I don't look to take the title of an activist. I just look to be Trae. That's just me," he told Billboard in a recent interview that announced he would be the Change Maker Award recipient. "I'm the type of person that don't stop. I can go for years at a time nonstop. And a lot of people feel like it can wear me down and take me out. But I feel like I'm built for it, because I'm so used to it. So when everybody else is tapped out or stressed, it's normal to me because I have become that rock. I just don't know how to tap out. And maybe that's why it shocks a lot of people because they look, like, 'Hey, you was just here today. Now you somewhere else tomorrow.' It's not in me to stop. I just do what I do."

The Change Maker Award honors an artist or group that speaks truth to power through their music, celebrity and community. Killer Mike of hip-hop duo Run the Jewels received the inaugural accolade at the 2020 BBMAs.

The Billboard Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.