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

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?