There are only 12 days left in Barack Obama’s presidency, and it is giving so many Americans an overwhelming amount of ‘feels.’ But instead of tweeting about it or sobbing in a corner as some of us have done, T.I. channeled his grief into an open letter, thanking President Obama for his service throughout his two terms in the White House. Say what you want about T.I.’s use of SAT vocabulary words, but you have to admit, the man is pretty eloquent.
“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,” T.I. began in the letter that was originally published by The New York Times. The Us or Else rapper also expressed his appreciation for what the Obama administration has done for the country. “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,” he continued. “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.” T.I. then thanked the president for addressing issues of hatred, bigotry, and inequality throughout his terms as well, noting specific movements such The Black Live Matter.
As the letter reached a conclusion, T.I. vowed to keep Obama’s legacy and mission alive, calling on “every one of US who has been touched by” him to “do more.”
“We cannot afford to live in a prolonged state of grief, but must remember that we have no choice but to dust ourselves off, wipe off our wounds and move beyond this barren state of shock,” he added. Finally, T.I. saluted First Lady Michelle Obama and the first daughters Sasha and Malia, before referring back to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan. “WE will continue to stand with you and alongside those who make a personal investment in US. We will continue to remain committed to causes that are bigger than ourselves,” he wrote. “We will continue to remind ourselves that, Yes, We still can!”
T.I.’s heartfelt note follows many other celebrities who have written to the president on his final stretch in office, including John Legend, who penned an open letter in December 2016, pleading with Obama for continued criminal justice reform. It’s going to be a sad day when we have to say good by to the Obama’s, but as T.I. so eloquently stated, his “legacy will live on.” Read T.I.’s complete letter here.