How a Detroit TikToker plans to leverage its 1.4 million follower platform to raise awareness and help redeem its block

Rapper Tray Little plans to spin the block to eventually redeem it.

The Detroit News reports that the rapper with 1.4 million TikTok followers is using his platform to achieve his dreams.

“It’s where most of my childhood memories come from. It literally shaped my outlook on life,” Little said, according to The Detroit News, “Everything I do, when I travel around the world, it all started here.

Using its TikTok platform to draw attention to an important cause

The neighborhood has changed dramatically

The neighborhood block has changed dramatically since Little left in 2008. Its former 2,500 square foot duplex is now replaced with wooden planks and broken windows. The duplex joins other properties on the block which are now closed. However, there are still residents who stayed.

“Some people stayed strong,” Little said, according to The Detroit News. “(They) thought they couldn’t leave their house, even when everyone else was leaving.”

Buy the Block campaign

Now Little is working to revitalize his childhood home and it doesn’t seem to be stopping there. Little launched the Buy the Block campaign alongside Brian Owen, a real estate broker and investor in the project.

They are working to submit a $150,000 development proposal to the Land Bank Authority of Detroit. The goal is to get the green light for a community garden center on four vacant lots and to rehabilitate a house.

“So many people are constantly texting asking for the address and I know someone is going to try to get it before me,” Little told the Detroit News. “But even if that happens, it’s not necessarily about me owning the house myself. I just want to see it restored.

Few obstacles

Although Little is optimistic that his plan will succeed, he has had a few stumbling blocks such as the sale of his childhood home by the Detroit Land Bank Authority in 2020 for $1,200. However, he hopes to get in touch with the owner to make an offer.

For now, his eyes are set on buying other properties in the neighborhood. Since he is no longer a resident, Little will have to present a development plan, his finances and find contractors.

“We need to bring back schools, commercial properties, affordable apartments so people like me in the neighborhood can come back, relive and recreate those memories,” Little said, according to The Detroit News.

Plans to make first purchase on Childhood Block this month

Little remains vigilant on the Land Bank site for available properties. He is also working to get his real estate license and learning the ropes of the financial process of buying properties.

By the end of the month, Little and Owen plan to make their first purchase on Little’s childhood block.