T.I. has penned an open letter to President Barack Obama, published tonight by The New York Times. The letter is apparently the first in a series of several from the rapper addressed to Obama and president-elect Donald Trump.
In his letter, T.I. offers a heartfelt tribute to the president's legacy and cultural impact—particularly on black America—as his presidency comes to a close."You entered humbly into our worlds from the streets of the South Side of Chicago," the letter opens. "You resonated from the barbershops to the airwaves to the streets of every hood across America...you defined a culture and you shook up and woke up a generation."
In one anecdote, Tip remembers hearing his "favorite rapper and person, Tupac Shakur, tell me we weren’t ready for a black president [on "Changes"], leaving me in nodding in agreement until you brought US the audacity of hope and reminded US that yes we can."
The letter goes on to thank the president for his broader efforts to preserve "equality and basic human dignity," and reiterates the necessity of moving forward despite the "shock" and "grief" inspired by an impending Trump presidency.
Read T.I.'s full letter here via The New York Times.