I want to start off by congratulating you on your success. Your talents in acting and music have led you to become a superstar across the globe. I am a fan of your music, as are my family, friends, and youth that I teach and coach.
Since this country was founded, it has seen many social injustices. Since that time, and more recently in the past 50 years, there have been many movements by young people to help rectify these social injustices. While the struggle is long and hard, progress is being made and the work has been worth it. In the past decade, this country has seen many social, economic, and political inequalities that are having negative effects on our communities. The recent events regarding Trayvon Martin have encouraged dialogue about race issues in this country about how Blacks are treated in America. One of the main issues that people have brought up is how we cause such an uproar about Black children dying at the hands of non-Black people, with no conviction under the law. To combat these sentiments, people often ask,
“Why don’t people care as much about the rampant Black on Black crime taking place everyday?”
It is without a doubt that Black males are set up for extinction, sometimes by the hands of other Black males. Now I can go into a deep history lesson about how society is set up for us to kill each other, or how White on White crime is equally rampant, but that will be a whole different letter in all. To the point, many of the Black males committing crimes against their own people are in a struggle with themselves, their communities, and without any leaders pointing them in a more positive direction.
This is where you come in. Now I KNOW, you are not a political activist, nor have you ever pretended to be. You do, however, give your time and money to charities, which is definitely a commendable action. But what I would like to see from you in the near future is a step toward leading our Black youth in a more positive direction.
I know this is not your job. But your influence is INCREDIBLE! Have you noticed how many of your song titles become actual SAYINGS!? Your music is among the MOST influential in the Black community at this point. Hash-tags like #YOLO, #NoNewFriends, #StartedFromTheBottom, #HYFR, and most recently #WithMyWoes have flooded the twitter-sphere as youth look to keep up with the newest trendy phrases, living their lives by them. If every single song you make becomes an ANTHEM for our youth, would it be too much to ask that you make a few songs that promote positivity?
I’m not saying you have to be the next KRS-One, Talib Kweli, or Public Enemy. I’m just proposing that you take the time out and use your celebrity and lyrical genius to have our youth speaking about something positive as the newest trend. Instead of having our youth not wanting new friends and living precariously close to death (knowing that they “only live once”), they may be guided to go to college, wear natural hair, stop fighting amongst dark and light skin brothers and sisters, stop stealing and fighting for materialistic items, and engage in intellectual dialogue that actually helps the Black community progress politically, socially, and economically. Cooperative Economics, self-determination, collective work, and responsibility, are all new trends that can start by YOUR MUSIC!
Now, notice… In the beginning of this letter I was speaking of Black on Black crime. But in my list of issues for you to speak about in your music, I did not ask you to mention the Black on Black crime. Reason? I believe that, if the previous mentioned (among other things) are worked on as a community, the need for our Black people to turn on each other will end itself.
Am I asking too much, Drake? I hope not. And honestly, I think two or three songs on your next mixtape or album can be the literal difference between LIFE and DEATH for many of our youth. The new hash-tags on twitter can say something like #KnowledgeOfSelf, #ImBlackAndProud, #NeverKillingMyOwn, #LovingMyPeople, and #PuttingPistolsDownInMyTown.
Yea, I know it sounds kinda corny. But remember, #YOLO and #HellYeaFuckingRight sounded kinda corny too, until YOU put it in your music. So please, Drake, help our community in a way that will not take any money out of your pocket, but can save lives.
A Hopeful Black Man.