T.I. continues to be one of the most outspoken figures in the hip-hop community when it comes to community and politics. Yesterday he took to his Instagram page to express his frustration with the recent string of Black celebrities who have met with and publicly endorsed President Elect Donald Trump. Tip called out Kanye West, Jim Brown and Ray Lewis who all met with Trump last month as well as Steve Harvey, who met with Trump last week and Martin Luther III who sat with Trump yesterday, on the national holiday that celebrates Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.
Tip says that these public figures are being used as pawns by Trump to smooth things over with the Black community and he also accused the incoming President of having a "very Willie Lynch agenda" with these meetings.
"Do not accept any invitation to have any meeting," the King of the South warned. "No matter how positive you think the outcome may be. Without understanding man, people have a very Willie lynch agenda. You being there, being seen with them smiling and taking pictures, it may seem positive to you, but it’s a hidden agenda. You may not know it, but you have been warned. Do not go in there unless you have a strategy or you’re with John Lewis or somebody that can represent us."
Tip said Kanye was brought in to meet with Trump to appease the Black youth, while Harvey was brought in because of his popularity with Black women while Brown and Lewis were Football "heroes."
"It's nothing wrong with sitting across from anybody no matter how different your views may be from theirs or how different your background may be," the ATL icon continued. "As long as they give you the basic human decency of respecting your values, respecting your ancestors’ legacies. And not representing hate groups that are adamantly against your advancements and progressions as a people. Kanye, what the fuck you doing? Steve man, you know way better than that. Man! Jim Brown? Really? Martin Luther King, that’s yo gotdamn Daddy’s birthday bro. You gonna go and sit down? He y man, divide and conquer bro. Willie Lynch, read up on it. Don’t be apart of it. Be against it."
Yesterday, MLK III described his meeting with Trump as constructive with the celebrities have all explained their willingness to dialogue with the next President.
"I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future president if we truly want change," Kanye said on his twitter page in the wake of immediate backlash from his Trump meeting.
Entertainment renaissance man Harvey, who told reporters at Trump towers last week that "positive change in the inner city" was his "only agenda" also took to social media, releasing a statement on his Trump meeting.
"Our president (Obama) asked that all of us sit down and talk to one another in order to move our country forward… the transition teams on both sides asked me to meet and I’m glad I did," Harvey posted on multiple social media platforms. "I found him in our meeting both congenial and sincere. Trump wants to help with situations in the inner cities so he immediately got Dr. Ben Carson on the phone to put us together to begin dialog in looking at programs and housing to help our inner cities and he’s very open to my mentoring efforts acrss the country. I walked away feeling like I had just talked with a man who genuinely wants to make a difference in this area. I feel that something really great could come out of this. I would sit with him anytime."
After his meeting with Trump in mid-December Lewis explained to reporters at Trump Towers that "Urban development and job creation are everything." What we believe with the Trump administration is if we can combine these two powers of coming together — forget black or white. Black or white is irrelevant. The bottom line is job creation and economic development in these urban areas to change the whole scheme of what our kids see."
Jim Brown wasn't shy about hiding his "admiration" for Trump shortly after their meeting.
"I fell in love with him because he really talks about helping African American, black people and that’s why I'm here," the legendary running back gushed on CNN.
Meanwhile, popular sports pundit Stephen A. Smith said on his ESPN Show "First Take" that there was nothing wrong with Harvey of Black athletes Meeting with the new Commander-In-Chief.
"Has anyone thought about what impact it could have if Trump spoke to LeBron James? How about Steph Curry? How about Mike Tomlin, Tony Dungy, Chris Paul, Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles, or a host of conscientious sports figures connected to communities, committed to helping inner cities ascend from an abyss that has plagued us for decades," Smith opined on the show during his "Last Take" segment. "What then? Will they be sellouts, too, just for meeting with the man? For expressing their concerns? For articulating what ails these communities and providing ideas on how to resolve problems? The answer is no. At least for anyone with sense."
"So here's hoping Trump calls all of those guys and then some," he added. "So why have a problem with Steve Harvey? While few of us are interested in helping in hearing praise for Trump at this moment, let's not confuse that with recognizing the position he's in, respecting it and using our intellect to decipher where we go from here, not our emotions. After all, how far has that gotten us?"
T.I. has much more to say about the current state of U.S. politics and he recently sat down with hosts Nore and DJ EFN on "Drink Champs" for a very candid conversation about who from the hip-hop community he thinks would make a great President and why he will never run for office among other topics. French Montana and A$AP Rocky also join in. You can catch the star studded addition of "Drink Champs" this Thursday at 11 PM on REVOLT.