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A Letter to the President, From Hip-Hop

You once said, "Hip-Hop is not just a mirror of what is, it should also be a reflection of what can be." I can work with my people to clean up our act, but you have to understand that poverty still exists in America.
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President Barack Hussein Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President Barack Hussein Obama,

Where do I begin? Well, first and foremost congratulations on your presidency! It's been a long road to success with a dedicated grind, and for that I commend you. Victory is won and history has been made! You know, I'm not usually one to toot my own horn but I played a major role in your campaign. As far as your young urban America voters are concerned, I don't think you would've persuaded them without my influence. Don't get me wrong: you're an extremely charismatic guy, but I believe it was the intellect and passion of my people who got the attention you needed from Generation Y. Just look at who I had campaigning for you -- Jay-Z, P.Diddy, Nas, T.I, Young Jeezy, Big Boi -- I could go on, Mr. President, but I just want you to know how much I care for you. I know that a few of my folks got a little carried away with the support they were offering and you had to distance yourself from me. I took it personal initially but then I realized why you did it. I realized that too much of me would've been a hindrance to your success. All of that is behind me now, but I do want to apologize on behalf of those artists that were a bit over the top. They didn't mean anything negative by it. They just got excited; you made history!

I have to admit though you are one stand-up guy! You showed your appreciation and gratitude for me by allowing us to perform at your inaugural ball. I can't even explain how that felt to be there for the first time. To be apart of something that historic is absolutely surreal. It amazes me every time I think of that night. But what boggles the mind even more is that I've watched you grow. We've crossed paths a few times before, but there is one time in particular that did it for me. It was the first date with you and your lovely wife, Michelle. The two of you went to see Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing. I was there; I wonder if you remember? I was blasting through Radio Raheem's speakers -- Public Enemy's "Fight The Power." Our chemistry has continued to bond us ever since.

I've had to deal with a lot of issues over the past year. My brother and sister -- Neo-Soul and Pop -- are envious of our relationship. I hear about it constantly, but I take a page from your book and brush it off my shoulders (which is a page you took from my book, written by Jay-Z). I ignore it for the most part, although Neo keeps hinting towards some type of connection between himself and the First Lady. But never mind them. There are more important matters at hand. During the latter part of my existence, inhabitants of the inner-city and inquisitive minds of the suburbs have looked up to me and honored me. I have artists who sold millions of records, and drove expensive foreign cars, who became the definition of cool to this generation. However, you have changed that Mr. President. Now, you are that new face of cool. True, I continued to be adored, but people have deducted money from my sales and invested in your memorabilia. I can't say I enjoy it, but at the same time I know that this is the beginning of a new age. Its the start of change! There are no more excuses of: "I'm a black man, I can't get anywhere in America." Those days are long gone thanks to you.

So now here's the biggest question and perhaps the most important one: "Can Hip-Hop change?" Of course I can! But it's going to take some effort from the both of us. You know, you said something deep in an interview once, "Hip-Hop is not just a mirror of what is, it should also be a reflection of what can be." That spoke volumes to me. I can work with my people to clean up our act, but you have to understand that poverty still exists in America. That young aspiring artist who lives in the projects and wakes up into welfare and drugs everyday is writing raps about what he's living. I'm not condoning my "gangster" image I'm just saying in order to change it, we must work together to change how these people are living. Like you said I'm a ''mirror of what is.'' It's going to take some time but we have at least four years to get it right!

All in all Mr. President, I'm just writing you a letter of endearment. I'm letting you know that I'll be here for your current term and your next. If our country's security alert level reaches "Code Red" (and hopefully it won't!), I'll be there. When Sasha and Malia go to their junior and senior proms, I'll be there. All I'm asking is for you to believe in me. Work with me to make things better on my end, and help me make a change in my content. Its been a bittersweet journey getting here, so while were here lets enjoy it. We both have a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of goals to accomplish, but together we'll make it! Just one last thing I want to throw out there for you. I hope you get elected to a second term -- if that's your desire -- but when this four years is over and if you decide not to run again, I'll have an executive position at one of my labels waiting for you. But hey, it's just an idea. I wish you much continued success, and if you ever need know where to find me.

Yours Truly,
"since 1973"

P.S. We really have to work on the whole "White House" thing. Maybe you can rename it to..."The Home of Change". H.O.C. for short. Tell you what; just have your people call my people.