Tip “T.I.” Harris has turned the corner from a rapper who depicted gritty tales of the street to a thoughtful artist-activist using his platform for change. In an open letter to Donald Trump, T.I. ponders aloud the president-elect’s aims and how the nation can prosper with a leader that has shown sides of himself that could be seen as unbefitting of the office he’s set to take. This comes a week before Trump’s inauguration on January 20.
T.I.’s letter is part of a series of such writings he’s released, the first of which was addressed to President Barack Obama. In this recent work published online at Rolling Stone last Friday (January 13), the Atlanta rapper and actor challenges Trump in an assertive fashion, but tempers that passion with opening the channels for a respectful conversation.
From T.I.’s open letter:
“As you transition into your role as the President of the United States, you will undoubtedly be one of the most watched people in the history of the world. So, I can’t help but ask in the midst of our nation’s calamity and discord: What do you want US to see?
“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.”
Read the entire letter at Rolling Stone. Above, a clip of T.I. reading the letter can be found.