T.I. Warns Against Getting 'Bamboozled' by Trump

January 17th 2017

Almie Rose

Rapper T.I., aka Tip Harris, is leading his own crusade against President-elect Donald Trump with an open letter in Rolling Stone magazine, and videos on Twitter warning against getting "bamboozled" by the incoming president.

“When the stage is dark and the lights and cameras are off … Who are you? And more importantly, who do you want to be?”

In his letter, published by Rolling Stone magazine, Harris writes, "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?"

He then went on to seemingly reference Colin Kaepernick's protest last year, the Flint water crisis, and other issues faced by communities of color:

"We do so much as take a knee during the national anthem and it's looked upon as Un-American. Yet and still, as many of US continue to live in life-threatening, unspeakable conditions with poisonous water systems, failing schools, broken criminal justice systems, lack of decent healthcare and affordable housing, all while scraping for a basic living wage many of US are still fighting to find our way."

He closes the piece by posing Trump with a question: "I can’t help but ask one final question man to man. A simple yet profound question recently asked of me. 'When the stage is dark and the lights and cameras are off … Who are you? And more importantly, who do you want to be?' Just a thought to ponder as your passage to the White House begins."

But Harris didn't finish there.

After his letter was published on Saturday, the Atlanta-native also tweeted a series of three videos Monday, which cautioned against minority celebrities and athletes taking meetings with Trump, and he warned that they were being "bamboozled."

"You being there, being seen with [Trump] taking pictures and smiling and being positive, it may seem positive to you, but there's a hidden agenda, man [...] do not go in there unless you are with John Lewis or somebody who can represent us," he said in one of the videos.

In his second video, Harris called out black celebrities like Kanye West for meeting with Trump so publicly.

"He's their representative," he said in regards to why he believes the Trump camp wanted a public meeting with a black influencer like West. "...Well surely if we take a picture with [West], he smiles and says he's cool with it, [the rest of the black community] will fall in line."

He then went on to call out Steve Harvey and football player Jim Brown for the same reasons.

"I don't want kids looking at this and thinking, just because I'm not saying anything about it, doesn't mean I'm all right with it," Harris explained in his final video.

"Kanye, what the fuck you doing, man," he added, even targeting Martin Luther King, Jr.'s son, Martin Luther King III, for meeting with Trump on Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

Harris then offered a final recommendation to any black public figure who may get an invitation for a meeting with Trump: "Don't be a part of it — be against it."