The heart of America is feeling the sting of President Barack Obama’s final days in office, as his official last day serving as POTUS is fast approaching on Jan. 20.
Despite his star-studded farewell party at the White House, T.I. felt his respects should be further paid in a devoted, personal letter honoring Obama’s successful eight-year run.
The letter comes as the first installation in a new series of politically driven letters from the desk of T.I.P., with more approaching that will be addressed to President-elect Donald Trump and the citizens of America. The letter, which T.I. shared with The New York Times on Friday (Jan. 6), reflected on Obama’s “Change” campaign slogan and his widespread impact on people from all corners of not only the United States, but the entire world.
“You entered humbly into our worlds from the streets of the South Side of Chicago and galvanized a generation,” he began in the letter. “You resonated from the barbershops to the airwaves to the streets of every hood across America. Many of US did not know your name, nor did we truly understand the impact you would have on the world in the years, months and days that followed.”
T.I. proclaimed that if failure belonged to anyone, it was the people of the nation and their unpreparedness for change. The Us or Else rapper included the underlying premises of the Black Lives Matter movement as well, mentioning that "inequality, hatred and bigotry has crippled and silenced ‘us’ for a very long time.”
His sentiments toward Obama’s influence and embrace of the hip-hop community is also among honorable mention, a shared opinion that other rappers, such as Kendrick Lamar, have praised the first Black president of the United States for.
In The New York Times interview prefacing the letter, T.I. said that under a Trump presidency, his main concern is keeping his eyes open in observation of the transition and experiencing what will become of American life with the former reality television star in office.
“I don’t have to talk about or wonder what it will be like,” he said in the interview. “I will have to live through it. I don’t want to be presumptuous, I don’t want to be premature in my criticism.”
Read the full interview and letter from T.I. here.
(Photo from left: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)