In a new article posted to The New York Times rapper T.I. wrote an open letter to President Barack Obama, thanking him for his service and pointing out the deeply symbolic nature of his presidency. The letter was also accompanied by an interview with the Atlanta born rapper. As of late T.I. has been involved in politics, from meeting with activists, to speaking on panels, marching, and making protest music. T.I. was largely spurred to action by the recent rash of police killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and countless others this past summer and summers previous. A few weeks back T.I. dropped the surprise album Us Or Else: Letter To The System. The project, which was an expansion of his EP Us Or Else, was highly political and dealt with police terror, white supremacy, and inequality. In the letter, T.I. also touched on the impending presidency of Donald Trump. T.I., who was born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., wrote in his open letter to Obama:
“As I reflect, I am filled with gratitude, outrage, grief, anger, humility and appreciation, both for the things you helped bring to light and the many things we still have yet to realize.
For years you fought to keep this nation from the very thing we have now become.
For years, many of US failed you because, as I’ve said before, we were not all ready for the change you wanted to bring about.
But rest assured that we heard you. Rest assured that we felt you and rest assured that your legacy will live on long after your presidency.
Not only did you impact a nation, but you defined a culture and you shook up and woke up a generation.”
The letter is the first part in a series. Read the full interview and T.I.’s open letter to outgoing President Barack Obama in full by heading to The New York Times.