After addressing political issues on his Us or Else EP and his Letter to the System LP last year, T.I. has penned a series of open letters to President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump, and the country as a whole.
The first of these, a heartfelt letter to the outgoing president, was published in The New York Times. In an interview with the paper, Tip explained President Obama’s lasting legacy, noting his influence on hope.
“First and foremost was the symbolic message, saying that whatever you are, whatever color your skin is, you don’t have to be a white man to be president,” he said. “Obama opened the door to show it can happen, it can be done, your efforts can be paid off in a very, very large capacity as long as you continue to work and educate yourself and take the necessary steps. That’s immeasurable.”
In his letter, Tip thanks Obama for his accomplishments while reflecting on the work that the nation still has ahead.
“Not only did you impact a nation, but you defined a culture and you shook up and woke up a generation,” he writes. “A generation that unfortunately fears more than ever being further wounded, overlooked, abused, neglected and having to fight for what we now understand is not such a basic right and that is the plight for equality and basic human dignity.”
Tip goes on to say he agreed with Tupac Shakur’s famous 1998 lyrics about the nation’s views on race and the presidency. “We ain’t ready to see a black president,” ‘Pac rapped on the posthumous “Changes.” However, he says President Obama changed that with his audacity to hope and his “Yes, we can” slogan. “WE will continue to stand with you and alongside those who make a personal investment in US,” he wrote. “We will continue to remain committed to causes that are bigger than ourselves. We will continue to remind ourselves that, Yes, We still can!”
Last night, President Obama held his final party at the White House, hosting guests including Usher, John Legend, Wale, Kelly Rowland, and La La Anthony. The last hurrah arrives just a short time before Jan. 20, Obama’s final day in office.