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As you know, rapper T.I., has been ordered to complete 1000 hours of community service speaking to troubled youth on the dangers of drugs, gangs and guns. On Monday, T.I., real name Clifford Harris, visited the Inner Harbour for Children and Families and the Carver Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta.
T.I.'s new platform for at risk boys is called "Stop Teen on Teen Violence" which is overseen by It's Cool To Be Smart in collaboration with the Music Education Group.
While at the Inner Harbour facility, Mr. Harris spoke to the kids on topics concerning managing their anger and walking away from negative influences and environments. Here's part of what he said,
"what you see in videos and what you listen to is just entertainment but what I am talking to you about today about gang prevention, positive reintegration into the community and school, establishing a positive pattern of behavior, and allowing yourself to trust positive people is real!"
Not to be funny, but those are pretty big words to throw at troubled kids who may not have the capacity to understand. What T.I. is doing is great but it doesn't benefit the kids if the message is lost on them.
In my opinion, T.I. should throw away the speeches prepared by well-meaning publicists, and talk to those kids from his heart by drawing from his own experiences.