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Rapper T.I. on Andy Young: "He's a Mentor"

T.I and Andrew Young

Rapper T.I. arrives at the 17th annual MTV Movie Awards (left), and Andrew Young is photographed at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball (right). Getty Images hide caption

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It's an unlikely pairing, forged between two Atlantans of different generations, backgrounds, occupations, and worldviews: T.I. and civil rights pioneer Andy Young.

According to an Associated Press feature, the 27-year-old rapper says he considers Young to be something of a mentor:

Young took T.I. to a rehabilitation hospital in New York to meet with people who were paralyzed from gang violence. He's given T.I. books to read, including one written by Young and another on the genocide in Rwanda.

Young hopes to take T.I. on a trip to Africa before he starts his prison sentence in late March. He already took him to an exclusive birthday party for poet Maya Angelou in May.

"He's a mentor of some sort to me," the 27-year-old T.I. said of Young in a recent interview, shortly after lecturing almost 100 youths about the importance of education and entrepreneurship.

"Thing is, I didn't really expect to be the spokesperson for positive decisions in kids lives," he said. "That's not necessarily what I saw for myself."

T.I. is facing 12 months in prison on federal weapons possession charges. He says his legal troubles have changed his outlook:

"I don't want to disgrace nobody who supported me who believed I pushed pass this situation," T.I. said. "I won't disgrace their good faith with another absolutely unnecessary situation."

What do you make of this mentor/mentee relationship?

Passing the Torch of Leadership
What's Next for Civil Rights Movement?



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I think that's great. Rappers are figures that our youth look up to, and if the Ambassador can help this young man to change his outlook (and the music he puts out) into something more positive and substantial, and T.I. in turns inspires our youth to be more than previously dreamed, I'm all for it. You go to any school today, most all the kids will know T.I., not too many (if any) will know who Andrew Young is.

Sent by Seth | 3:38 PM | 7-2-2008

"Thing is, I didn't really expect to be the spokesperson for positive decisions in kids lives," he said. "That's not necessarily what I saw for myself."

To the aforementioned T.I's statement, all I can say is "to thine ownself be true" T.I. The first step is always admission.

About the mentor/mentee relationship? Perhaps I'm just too logical, what is the "mentor of some sort?" analysis from T.I. Either Andrew Young is or isn't?

But I'm glad Young is at least reaching out to T.I to show anyone (including a multi-millionnaire who wanted to hold on to the thug life) deserves another chance.

Sent by Moji | 6:57 PM | 7-2-2008