After watching one little boy’s viral video about gun violence in his neighborhood, rapper Pusha T decided to stand up and take action.
Six-year-old St. Louis native Jeffrey ‘Lil J’ Janey started experiencing anxiety after his mom’s 16-year-old cousin was murdered outside of his school in an April drive-by shooting. Instead of ignoring his feelings, Lil J recorded a speech about gun violence. See the heartbreaking video just above.
A miraculous (and sad as hell) moment for a boy so young, Pusha T took notice of Lil J’s call-to-action and responded in an open letter that boasted tons of surprises for the kid and his family.
“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,” the letter begins. Read the rest below:
“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 at such a young age already, I can tell. You spoke so clearly 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 saw your 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.
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 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.
As you can see below, Pusha kept all his promises to Lil J, who was clearly excited. His mom was also super appreciative. “We love you Pusha T!!!!,” she wrote alongside a photo of her son and all his gifts below.
Sticking to his original medium, Lil J also recorded a video response to Pusha’s graciousness and it will really warm your heart after so much sadness:
You’ve got to love Pusha for doing what he could to reignite hope in Lil J’s heart and we hope other people follow suit.