A four-minute long viral video from a 6-year-old living in the St. Louis area was enough to touch the heart of Pusha T. The youngster, whose name is Jeffrey "Lil J" Laney, had his speech posted onto his mother's Facebook page on May 15. He described the anxiety he's had since his mom's 16-year-old cousin was gunned down in an April drive-by while waiting outside of school. Take a look:
Since the video went up a little over two weeks ago, it's racked up well over 200,000 views, one of which was obviously Pusha.
"It sort of shocked me that a 6-year-old was so well-spoken about violence," Pusha said to Mic. "Watching him try to get his point across and basically pleading with the world—I was like, 'You can't ignore this.'"
On early Friday afternoon, the 40-year-old rapper published an open letter he wrote to the little tyke on his Instagram page.
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 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. 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.Love,Terrence "Pusha -T" Thornton”
True to his word, Pusha T sent a bunch of gifts Jeffrey's way, including a trip to a nearby Six Flags, an enrollment in a Boys and Girls Club summer camp, several toys, an exclusive screening to Spider Man: Homecoming, and a college fund. Check out Lil J with his haul, below.
You can also watch Lil J's video response to Pusha's gifts.
Lil J's mom was ecstatic as well.