T.I. joins DJ Khaled at Day 1 of the Panorama Music Festival on Friday, July 22, 2016. | Photos by Vickey Ford/Sneakshot for Okayplayer.
T.I. wrote an open letter to exiting President Barack Obama last week, and now he has released a letter to incoming President-elect Donald Trump.
The rapper fully stepped into his activist role in 2016, releasing a sociopolitically-charged album called Us Or Else: Letter For The System, and working with activists like Harry Belafonte. He is continuing with a series of letters: the first was to Barack Obama through New York Times, this is to Donald Trump through Rolling Stone, and the next is to America as a country.
Below, read an excerpt of the letter to Trump:
Maybe I should take the time to share what many of US would like you to see. Should it ever at times seem as though WE are against YOU, I assure you it’s a result of YOU defining yourself as the representative for those who are and who always have been against US. The deck has always been stacked against US in this country. With every generation there has been strategic steps taken to oppress, imprison and control US. All we’ve ever wanted was equality and empathy as the historically disenfranchised citizens that we are, in a nation that we’ve contributed to just as much as anyone else who calls America their home.
We’ve helped to mold the arts and culture of this country, as well as help build, create and contribute to its greatness, in spite of it all. From an economic perspective, our community’s buying power is THE strongest of all consumers. Yet we’re shown repeatedly that our lives don’t matter as much as our dollars, let alone as that of a person of a different race or skin color. These basic human rights of freedom and equality are ones that EVERY RELIGIOUS BOOK of reference says is a GOD-GIVEN right that should be fought for and defended with one’s life.
Visit Rolling Stone to read the rest of T.I.’s letter, or click below to hear T.I. read the letter out loud.
is a journalist who covers music, pop culture, film/TV, race, culture and social justice. He is an editor at Okayplayer, and his work has appeared in Complex, Billboard, Guardian, NPR, MTV, Ebony, HipHopDX, The Flint Journal-MLive, and other publications.