Thursday, June 14, 2007

T.I visits West Philly School

June 11, 2007 - There are a lot of rappers and hip-hop artists who have come under fire for explicit lyrics. One of those rappers paid a visit to a West Philadelphia school to tell students violence, sex and prison life are things to stay away from ... not aspire to. Kids are used to seeing rapper T.I. in music videos. So there were screams when he grabbed the microphone at Harambee Charter School in West Philadelphia, and told the pre-teens to aim high. "When you leave out your house and go through your day, you see more people who don't go to school than who do go to school. But that don't make it right," T.I. told the students. T.I. grew up in a rough part of Atlanta, dropping out of high school and doing prison time for drugs. T.I. said, "I was a misguided youth myself. So whatever I can do to help them out, to help out the hood, I got to be the first in line." Beyond staying in school, T.I. told the kids that the life they see in rap videos - with its drugs, the prison life, the violence, the sex - it's not something to aspire to; it's something to stay away from. T.I. told the kids, "Ain't nothing lame, ain't nothing punkish about being smart. Ain't nothing punkish about being 25, 26, 28 and never had a run in with the law. That don't make you a punk man. That makes you a winner." Still, today kids were singing along to violent T.I. lyrics like, "Bring 'em out, bring 'em out. It's hard to talk when the barrel's in your mouth." But he disavowed raps like that as cartoonish and meant to sell records, not something to imitate. The kids said they got the message. Seventh grader Shahajan McCaskill told us the main thing he took away from T.I. is, "Stay in school. It was already in my mind, but he helped me realize it more." "If only one of y'all walk away and say I didn't even look at it like that. I'm a start handling myself different. If I can get that from just one of y'all, then my job is done. I'm cool," said T.I. Today T.I. should have a satisfied chill. Source:

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