There are countless lessons and advice to young and old in Big Flock’s letterExamples are made out of people. I grow hate when it has to be a person of extraordinary talents. However, sometimes that voice can be used for much more. Along our life paths, we’re offered many avenues and it’s up to us to choose which way we go travel. I’m not against going the wrong direction, because in those directions, it builds character and a stronger frame of mind — the picture isn’t always captured from a perfect path. Hurdles build preparation. Preparation leads to success and a better outcome.

I wish Big Flock’s outcome was different, but when he comes out of prison, it’s game over. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Flock just two weeks before his sentencing, back in October of 2016. Locked up on drug and gun charges, this is the only version of Flock I had known, prior to conversation. The music, the videos, the actions; what else was I supposed to think? What more could anyone think. So the interview/conversation took place. I discovered how the streets became his father and why his path angled itself the way it did.

D.C., Atlanta and Chicago artists are heavily known for guns being in music videos. I don’t like it, at all. DO WE NOT KNOW THAT THESE KIDS EMULATE EVERY SINGLE THING THAT THESE RAPPERS DO? Or do we not care? From D.C., Maryland, Virginia, I see kids (sometimes grown ass men) who want to mirror what they see in videos but don’t want to face the consequences when they act upon what they see. It’s damaging to our kids. I asked Flock what he thought about his influence on the youth and how he wants kids to view his music.

Written on March 14, Charles Bowman (aka Big Flock) put words to paper — heart to advice — preparation to patience. In his letter, Flock speaks on his mistakes, reflecting on the past and how he’s changed since and not being around his mother and daughter. There’s more to his words than just what meets the paper.

Corruption is not invisible, but it feels invincible. Our women are going missing, parents are absent and guidance is lackluster.

Free Flock, but in the process, free yourself too. The system is already ahead of the curve, so why add to their victories. I pray these streets never mold to permanent injury. I pray our role models model their role accordingly; we’re watching so don’t become a false prophet or a bad example.

Update: Flock has been sentenced to 45 months in federal prison. It’s a long exhale from his original 20-year stay in prison. Flock received his time before the judges presence and simply said “thank you.” Read the full story here.