Quanie "Cash" Clendening grew up in the Parkway Terrace public housing complex and has watched the area change dramatically since his childhood.
"It was poverty stricken with a lot of violence and crime," Clendening said. "It was considered one of the worst neighborhoods in Nashville."
Today, there are new restaurants nearby. Old apartments have been torn down and rebuilt. But Clendening knows there are still families in the area that struggle to make ends meet.
That's why the successful rapper and filmmaker chose to use his platform to give back to his old neighborhood and the children who live there. In 2017, he launched the Build Up Foundation, or BUF, which offers free SAT prep, tutoring , mentorship, and youth sports leagues.
"Everything we do is free of charge," Clendening said. "I want to take some of the burden off the parents and the kids."
Local teachers and college professors volunteer their time on Saturdays to help with the academic programming. Clendening has recruited coaches to lead the sports leagues.
And on Saturday, July 28, he'll give free school supplies and backpacks to children in need at a massive community block party he's hosting at Frederick Douglas Park .
Clendening hopes his example will show other East Nashville children that success is possible.
"I'm kind of the person the moms and the dads reach out to as the example," Clendening said. "You know, if Quanie did it, you can do it. He came from where you came from."
BUF's school supply giveaway will take place July 28 at Frederick Douglas Park beginning at 12 p.m. There will be about 250 backpacks available.