A 6-Year Old Boy Makes A Plea To End Violence. Pusha T Responds With A Letter & A Check (Video)
Pusha T is often respected for his ruthless lyrics. The member of Clipse, Re-Up Gang, and G.O.O.D. Music has amassed a catalog of hits illustrating the grind of the streets, with an over-arching desire for change. For every “D.D.A.,” there’s a “Sunshine,” with both sides usually presented with advanced deliveries and lots of swagger.
This week, the veteran Virginia MC showed an especially human side of himself. Six year-old Jeffrey “Lil J” Laney made a series of social media videos decrying the violence he sees every day in his St. Louis, Missouri surroundings. Lil J begged those viewing to stop hurting and shooting one another. He admitted his own fears and concerns for his family and himself. Those videos reached more than 200,000 people, and caught the attention of Pusha Ton.
“Your childhood, your youth is something I feel like you should cherish. Even myself, I remember me wanting things at six years old — me wanting to follow in my older brother’s footsteps, me wanting to play basketball, me emulating super heroes — playfully, you know,” Pusha said in a statement to Mic. “Never, never did I have something so serious to speak out against. I don’t remember feeling like him. I’m not even going to cheapen what he has going on by comparing my childhood to his.”
In response to the call for action, Pusha T took interest in the cause and in the life of the child. He penned a letter responding to J. Additionally, Pusha promised funding for J towards a college scholarship, and offered him and his family some vacation and amusement escape from the stress and pain surrounding them:
Dear Lil J,
Hi my name is Terrence “Pusha -T” Thornton. I saw your video and I’m really sorry that you are having to deal with people shooting guns and hurting others where you live. A lot of people can’t imagine how hard it is being a kid where you are from, If I were you, I would be scared too. But I thought it was very brave of you to speak up and try to help your family, friends, and community. There a lot of 6yr olds all over the United States who are scared just like you and guess who their Super Hero is…YOU!!
Your video really woke me up. You are a thoughtful and smart kid already at such a young age already, I can tell. You spoke so clearly but about something so terrible in gun violence and fear which is something no child should be speaking about with so much knowledge. I would much rather you taught me how to play video games or build a car or about the latest comic book you read and if you think Spiderman really is better than Batman. I know I can’t solve all of your problems at once but hopefully this is a start. Hopefully other men in our communities see this video and also realize that a 6 year old boy just challenged us all to do better. No matter where we are in life we have to look out for the youth. As someone who’s familiar with places not too different from where you are, please believe me your options are endless and there is so much more to the world than your neighborhood. You have your life in front of you and you should enjoy every moment of it and more importantly LOOK FORWARD not behind you or around you and worry.
Since you like helping people I wanna help you. What I’m gonna do for you is make sure that you have the fun that every 6yr old should have this summer. I’m sending you, your cousins Janiya and Brandon to Six Flags Amusement Park in St Louis, I know you guys are gonna have the best time. When you arrive back, all of you will all start summer camp at the boys and girls club. All summer long you will be learning, playing, and meeting new friends. I heard that you love Spider Man so I’m gonna make sure that you will be one of the first to see new Spider-Man movie next month!! I also sent some things to your house for the times you aren’t away at camp. There are some games, books, an iPad and other toys to help you enjoy the summer and beyond. I can’t wait to hear about which books you liked better and which car was the fastest. I hope the package encourages you to learn new things and most importantly, imagine.
Lil J I want you to do me a favor and enjoy being 6 yrs old. Smile more than frown, explore without fear, learn uncontrollably, dream without limits.
P.S. I started this thing called a college fund for you…it’s for when you grow up a little, you don’t have to worry about it now but when you do need it, its there for you.
Terrence “Pusha -T” Thornton