Rapper Clifford "T.I." Harris penned an open letter to President Obama this weekend, praising the president's work over the last eight years and elaborating on how Obama impacted him personally.
The letter, published in The New York Times, is the first in a series of open letters T.I. says he plans on writing over the next year. Future letters will include one addressed to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBipartisan group of mayors asks for immigration reform Obama offers laments and optimism at last presser Overnight Energy: Trump's EPA pick faces Congress | 2016 is the hottest year on record MORE.
"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. says at the top of his letter to Obama.
"We thank you for helping US face and focus on the very issues that plague our communities and diminishes US all. While I, too, responsibly admit to engaging in the behaviors that further perpetuates the negative stigma in our communities, I wanted to thank you for looking beyond our shortcomings," the letter continues.
In the letter, T.I. highlights the significance of Obama as the first black president and how that impacted him and the black community. He recalls listening to Tupac and nodding along as the rapper sang, "We ain't ready to see a black president."
The letter goes on to thank Obama and his family for their work and calling on readers to continue in their activism on Obama's policies and social justice.
"We will forever be grateful to you and your family, the graceful intelligent compassionate first lady, Mrs. Obama, as well as your beautiful daughters Sasha and Malia for their collective sacrifices for US. WE will continue to stand with you and alongside those who make a personal investment in US," T.I. ended his letter.
"We will continue to remain committed to causes that are bigger than ourselves. We will continue to remind ourselves that, Yes, We still can!"
T.I. is an award-winning rapper with nine studio albums. His newly released "Us Or Else" has become a venue for him to discuss issues of national political importance, including issues facing the black community.
Read the full letter at The New York Times.