An essay contest was set up and one lucky winner was selected. Ralph, age 14, sent in a truly moving letter that stood out amongst all the others. And after we posted it here on the site word got back to T.I. himself. And guess what? He responded to our lucky winner personally over email.
We felt it appropriate to not only share it with Ralph, but you all as well.
What’s haaapnin’? Happy New Year to you champ. I just wanted to reach out to you to say congrats on winning the contest and a new laptop. You deserved it. I read your essay and I must say that I admire your maturity, your intelligence and your self-respect. You’ve shown a lot of courage and integrity going against the grain and opposing peer pressure. It takes a real “G” to stand up and do the right thing when everyone else is doing the opposite. I SALUTE YOU bruh!!!! See most of your lil buddies just doing what they’re doing cuz they don’t know any better yet. They think it takes all that to be considered a “Real Nigga”, when all it really takes is for you to be real with yourself. That’s what you’ve done. All the smoking, drinking and fighting in the world can’t make you any more of a man than you’d be without it. Matter fact it does just the opposite. Believe it or not, I bet 1/2 of the guys in that lil crew that’s doing all the “thuggin” don’t really wanna be apart of it either. They just scared that if they don’t do it that they won’t be “cool” and cats might call em “lame”. Remember this Ralph. Being smart and saying that a life of crime ain’t for you does’nt make you a “SUCKER”. Being stupid, doing things that only lead to prison or the grave doesn’t make u a “GANGSTER” either. Life’s about learning, growing and making a better way for your moms, your kids and anyone else in your family that comes up after you. The only way you do that is by getting the most education you can so you can create opportunities for yourself and prosper. Let them other lil niggas get in trouble, you just concentrate on getting da PAPER!!!! U dig??? Again, it’s great meeting you…
Be Eazy & keep up the great work.
Sincerely – King.
Let Ralph be the shining example that your personal story could inspire a nation. Or just inspire one. And perhaps if your lucky it can inspire a superstar.
Thank you T.I. and Atlantic Records.
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