I am aware that your time is of the utmost value to you, so I will do my best to be brief but earnest, from the heart, and allow my words carry the weight that they will. With that being said,
Good art has the tendency to become a soundtrack for points in our life; I remember the exact day and place I received Like Water for Chocolate as a loaner; I remember working in FYE in River Oaks when Electric Circus dropped (I stole the promo copy); being home from college when BE came out; picking up Finding Forever on an army base in Germany while I was interning overseas for a summer. Mr. Lynn, your art has been a soundtrack for my life since I was 14. Moreover, your work has allowed me to take a piece of Chicago wherever life has led me, to hold it in my heart, and it remains a part of me. So many times you’ve reminded me of where I come from, and also where I’m going as a young black male that was fortunate enough to defy the stereotypes and the traps we often fall into. The examples you have set an artist and a man have often motivated me to keep going when I felt like didn’t want to anymore. On multiple occasions you’ve reminded me to be an individual, or to seek God, or motivated me to keep working. You helped me to be comfortable being unique, made me realize that it was cool to like basketball AND Bilal. I consider you to be a mentor to me from afar, and I thank you for that. It’s one thing to be a great artist, but it’s another thing to be a great person. I believe that you are both.
It is not every day that we have the opportunity to tell the ones we admire thank-you; especially amongst brothers. We tend to assume that others automatically know that we appreciate them, and never take the time to actually tell them. I appreciate your music and your example, and I wish you blessings and favor in all of your endeavors!
In the end, I only hope to return a fraction of what you’ve given me in the form of inspiration. I pray that somehow my art and words can inspire you as you’ve inspired me, and you’ve shown me by example how to be a beacon of light to those who look like me but just need to confirmation that it’s ok to be exactly who they are.
Thank you for being you, making great art, and being a great individual, and setting a great example!!!!
#P.S.: If you somehow read this, I don’t know why i handed you my 3 yr old nephew instead of dapping you up. At any rate, it was cool to have met you, and it’s dope that you had your mama with you. I had my mama with me too.