Ace's View

Dedicated to minority issues, topics and everything in between

Celebrity Open Letter #1: A Letter to Lupe Fiasco

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Dear Mr. Jaco,

Before I started writing this letter, two things came to mind:

1)      I have been a fan of your music since you were featured on Kanye’s “Touch The Sky” and remember thinking, who is this guy?

2)      I have been a fan of your actions since I read your interview with XXL Magazine, right around the time that Lasers came out and you went to war with your record label.

(Also, excuse the formalities in me using your last name, but I’ll explain why in a few.)

Back to the two items listed above–as big of a music fan as I am, I’ll have to say that the latter of the two would be the most important to me.  And here’s why:

Judging by my Facebook newsfeed, I have nearly 400 friends, of which more than half post and update frequently.  At least 10 of these people call themselves rappers or producers.  Only two are any good.

By the same token, there are only two of the same nearly 400 people who regularly update about things important to the communities in which they live.

They talk about how hard it is to find work.  The things they go through to get themselves and their children to and from school safely.

They post about eating well, living right, posting thought provoking images and start discussions with their statuses on everything ranging from politics to the violence that has been plaguing our city…

…hell, maybe I need better Facebook friends.

But I digress.

This has shown me that it is far easier to entertain than to do something that will matter in the grand scheme of things.

And so I am writing this letter to you, to be posted at sundown when most of the participants in the Project Orange Tree movement are just finishing fasting and gearing up for Day 2 (a movement, by the way, which is showing itself to be a brilliantly organized and thought-out response to draw attention to the violence) and the Lupe Fiasco Foundation, to tell you all thank you.

It takes a person of character to constantly fight against the way things are when people are constantly trying to get you to leave the status quo the way it is.

For every 100 rappers out here that stand for nothing in the pursuit of money and fame, there is at least one who actually stands on principles and values.

I have to appreciate anyone who will write a column in the Chicago Sun-Times to support a youth movement that is against violence.  Who debates with other rappers and comedians, ranging from intellectual to misguided youth from the same city, in order to create dialogue about what’s really going on with us.  Who will speak his mind and give his opinion on things that matter to him, regardless of whether that opinion is popular among the rest of us or not.

You, sir, stand for something.  And that is commendable in a day and age where there are so many people who follow blindly behind those who do not have their best interests at heart.

Thank you for not hiding behind the artist and a stage name, and for standing as yourself.

My grandfather once told me that the best thing you can do when people are doing the wrong thing around you is to do the right thing. And if that’s not available or an option, do the best thing that you can think of.

Either way, the important thing is that now, there is a choice.

As a result of social media, I am now aware of your foundation and will be taking the proper steps in the next few weeks to help out in any way I can, as well as wearing as much orange as possible, miles away from my city, just to draw more attention to the cause.

I have made the choice to help because I was told that there is one, and that I, like everyone else who has the same capacity and drive to make Chicago a place where your 4-year old niece does not have to devise ways to keep children inside to keep them alive, have alternatives to violence.

So, thank you for giving Chicago something that it usually doesn’t get from its rap artists–a choice.




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