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T.I. : “Ain’t No Such Thing As A Secret Snitch”

As Atlanta rapper-actor T.I. headed into court this morning to be sentenced on federal weapons charges, Vibe magazine has hit newsstands with a cover story purporting to tell “the untold story behind the deal.” The deal, that is, that kept the convicted felon out of jail for a year on a deferred sentence after being caught purchasing machine guns and silencers in a metro area Walgreen’s parking lot Oct. 13, 2007.

But in the story – titled “Cell Therapy” – the Grammy winner born Clifford Harris, Jr. basically reaffirms what he’s said previously on record (“No Matter What”), on his MTV reality show (“T.I.’s Road To Redemption”) and in various interviews since he struck the plea deal a year ago today. In short, he maintains that he did not turn anyone in to get the surprising sentence of a year and a day.

Or in street language, he did not snitch.

“Ain’t no such thing as a secret snitch,” he tells Benjamin Meadows-Ingram. “If there was, there’d be no need for the witness protection program. Pull up my agreement. It’s public record. Ain’t no way you could hide it, especially being a public figure. And as much as people saying that it is happening, don’t you think somebody would would have did the research to say, ‘Okay, look, we got proof, here it is?’ People just know that that it could have been a lot worse and they wanted it to be a lot worse, but lies will never overrule the truth.”

Instead, he says – as many people thought – he was just fortunate enough to be able to afford the kind of lawyers that could craft such a deal.

“I’m blessed to have money,” he tells Vibe. “I’m not spending it as though I’m oblivious, like before. [Expletive] said I need $3 million to get out of jail, and the lawyer told me it was half a million to represent me. I got a team of lawyers, and one lawyer said half a million! Lucky enough, I was smart enough to make some sound investments that yielded me enough of a profit to have some on-hand capital. Because if I didn’t have no cash, I’d still be locked up. If I’d have bought four more cars and balled out for five more months, I’d have been [expletive] up!”

T.I. hasn’t exactly been party-averse though. Even in this past week leading up to his “day of redemption,” he’s been spotted around the city. Sunday he rented out the entire Cascade skating rink (where much of his film “ATL” was set) and had a birthday party for one of his sons and his fiancee Tameka “Tiny” Cottle’s daughter. (R&B superstar Usher and fellow Atlantan – and teen hip-hop sensation – Soulja Boy showed, and T.I. performed).

And just last night he was reportedly at Opera nightclub in Midtown for the album release party producer Polow Da Don threw for Atlanta R&B singer Keri Hilson; where V-103’s Miss Sophia said many wished him well this next year.

As to how he plans to spend whatever free time he may have behind bars, T.I. told Vibe he still has an album worth of unreleased material left over from the recording sessions from his latest and biggest commercial CD of his career, “Paper Trail.”

(After more than six months in stores, the million-selling “Paper Trail” remains in the Top 20 of Billboard’s pop chart. It has yielded two No. 1 pop singles — “Whatever You Like” and “Live Your Life” with Rihanna — and his current million-selling single with Justin Timberlake, “Dead and Gone,” is in the No. 4 position this week on Billboard’s Hot 100 listing.)

And does he plan to rap in prison? “I don’t do too much planning” T.I. told Vibe. “You cannot predetermine these things. You get there and once you get there, at that point, you begin to figure out what it is you wanna do…The best way to not be disappointed is to not have no plans.”

Think T.I. will be missed when he turns himself in (which he is not required to do before May 19)? Interested in hearing the music that didn’t make “Paper Trail”? Did you get a chance to hear him speak this past year about the pitfalls of the criminal life he was long involved in (part of the community service his deal required)?

27 comments Add your comment

Parkerboy

March 27th, 2009
1:05 pm

Tip, keep your head up! Ca’t wait for your safe return home to your girl and children. Can’t wait for the next album. G’s up! A-town stay down!

Rich

March 27th, 2009
1:16 pm

Tyree

March 27th, 2009
2:03 pm

Typical of what? Please elaborate on your thoughts. While not a fan of the well travelled Mr. Harris, he is going to pay his well deserved debt to society. But from all implications, I think you’re trying to stereotype an entire culture or industry. Sir, you are wrong.

Nikki

March 27th, 2009
3:04 pm

We all have to be willing to face up to what we’ve done and that’s exactly what T.I is doing. He has admitted to his wrong and his taking his punishment. This should be a lesson to all of us. What you do in the dark comes to light. We’ll human and we all make mistakes and passing judgment is not our jobs. As I was once told “sweep around your own front door before trying to sweep around someone elses”.

GOD Bless T.I. and his family especially his children.

BIGTIME

March 27th, 2009
3:24 pm

SOUNDS LIKE OLD RICHIE RICH IS A RACIST! TIME FOR CHANGE RICHIE!

Junior

March 27th, 2009
4:40 pm

I can’t speak for Rich… but think he’s trying to convey the following message. TI is a thug. He’s a criminal. He is going to jail for a reason. Maybe because he is a low life felon, that was buying semi-automatic weapons from a federal government official. TI was not buying these weapons to hunt deer or rabbit. These were dangerous weapons that take human life. That’s there sole reason to exist. TI embodies everything typical about the hip-hop and rap generation. Embracing violence, degrading women, acting with little or nor respect for anyone or our civil laws. Furthermore, before you cry racist, it crosses over into the younger white generation that cozies up to the whole aura of being irresponsible thug. Maybe that was the point Rich was trying to make. Typical.

Melinda

March 27th, 2009
9:29 pm

God has given him a chance to change his life for the better….we all have done things in our lives we regret…no one is perfect….TI made a bad decision but he has been doing good works for our community for years..giving school supplies, feeding the homeless, christmas gifts to needy families, etc… the list goes on….God bless him and I hope he continue to be a positive role model to our youth….until you’ve walked in his shoes DON’T JUDGE!!!!!

Racquel

March 27th, 2009
9:58 pm

I agree with Melinda. Don’t judge- we are all one bad decision away from being behind bars. . .

Iggy Pop

March 28th, 2009
5:39 pm

What an utter waste of DNA. A chosen lifestyle is not a “mistake.” He is a wart on the buttock of society.

The Right Reverend Shauntelle Thunderclap

March 28th, 2009
5:47 pm

Exactly how low must a culture fall before it feels the need to look up to and emulate convicted felons? Pretty low, I think. So sad.

Frankie B

March 28th, 2009
6:09 pm

The whole “don’t snitch” mentality may as well be shorthand for saying “don’t actually act like a responsible member of society with an IQ over 40.” I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’, ya know.

vanessa

March 28th, 2009
10:46 pm

WELL T.I HAS GOTTEN WHAT HE DESERVES,BUT AT THE SAME TIME HE’S HUMAN AND WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES,SNITCHING IS KNOWN LIKE HE SAID SO YALL HATERS FALL BACK….

summerhill ga

March 30th, 2009
4:26 am

“on hand capital”…we all need to re-read those three words and get “our own weight up”..hip hop doesn’t commit violence…individuals do…let us all stand before the mirror, and cultivate/motivate.

16 @ war

March 30th, 2009
10:27 am

im am omly 16 years old and i know that nobody is not perfect and everybody thats making negitive comment about Ti needs to worry about themselves and their own lives people that spend their life. Yeah he made a mistake but so what who doesnt..I LOVE TI and he may not be the perfect role model but living in this day in time in pretty sure there is no perfect role models but hes a pretty good i hope that he makes it through this situation and dont worry about this haters because is he the KNIG OF THE SOUTH

Carlos

March 30th, 2009
6:32 pm

At least TI kept it real in saying that money saved his azz. Truth is with money, you can easily bypass the legal system. A convicted felon caught with silencers, HA. A normal Joe would been locked up for 10 years.

ZONE 6 TRAP STAR

March 31st, 2009
6:32 pm

T.I. WONT EVEN DO THE WHOLE YEAR MAY 6-9 MONTHS….THE REASON HE WAS BOUT TO BUY THEM GUNS WAS TO KNOCK SHAWTY LO OFF…BUT THE COOL NOW…T.I. HOLD YOUR HEAD UP IN THERE..SEE YA WHEN U GET HOME

Bravedawg

April 1st, 2009
10:47 am

Wow–this is too easy.

“16@war,” please get a role model who advocates punctuation. That’s a start.

I like how people say “Everyone makes mistakes.” Yes, everyone does make mistakes. While my mistake may be rolling through a stop sign in a sparsely-driven neighborhood, that mistake doesn’t compare to buying assault weapons from a federal agent. And I don’t roll through that stop sign with the intent to murder someone, which is about the only intent one can have for buying assault weapons. But hey, everyone makes mistakes, so this makes what TI’s done okay!!

I also like how people say TI has owned up to his mistakes, and is willing to “face up to what he’s done.” Wrong again! TI “faced up to what he’s done” only after he got caught. That’s a big difference.

Marcus

April 1st, 2009
10:55 am

Ok .. you have enough money to get the lightest sentence I’ve ever heard of for felons possessing weapons. I am fine with that. Greed runs most institutions in America and the judicial system is not different. For me … Just stay out of my kids schools trying to tell them anything. Dude hasn’t learned after 32 arrests?? Kids have enough examples of what not to do. I don’t need this clown in the school being the polar opposite of what he writes in music. Hypocrazy if you asked me.

Avid Reader

April 1st, 2009
11:07 am

For all you people here looking to scale your sin, PLEASE STOP!!! I’ve never heard a pastor or anyone else refer to VIP sections in Heaven or Hell, so get it out of your heads that there is a better place for you than for T.I. or anyone else who is convicted of a crime. By no means do I advocate the action for which he will serve time. It was stupid and his previous indiscretions should have taught him better. But he has served more than the punishment recommended by a judge and seems as if he will continue to reach out to young people.

Moreover, do not blame T.I. for 16-year old white boys embracing thug life. They have far more to latch on to than him. Get control of your kids and stop blaming the TVs that you buy and place prominently in your homes for your failures as parents…

Lynn

April 1st, 2009
11:21 am

I never really paid much attention to him until all this happened and it also helped to hype his latest cd, but after seeing him on a lot of talk shows, he seems to be a real person & a nice guy. He made a mistake. I don’t condone what he did, but if I had the money & someone had killed my best friend & business partner & was gunning for me literally, there’s no telling what I would do either for fear of not only his own life, but that of his family (mother, fiancee, and kids).
I hope he’s learned his lesson, gets his life right & starts to put his trust in the Lord and not in anything man made because he’s right when he talked about planning. God laughs at our plans, so he needs to live one day at a time & make it the best (and smartest) he can for his family.

Dee

April 1st, 2009
11:28 am

Bravedawg: A lot of fools STILL don’t face up to what they do and make excuses for what they did after they got caught, so I think he’s done the right thing. He’s showing remorse. Afterall, who has remorse BEFORE they mess up? That’s the point! A year away from your family & career is no small thing. He’s not just a thug who wanted “protection” because that’s the way he lives, he wanted it because his best friend was killed & they’re after him due to jealousy.
It’s not right, but I understand. I hope he learns to trust in God who is the only and best protection he could have PERIOD.
He also did waaaay more time with comunity service than was required of him talking to kids about staying away from gangs and violence because his sentence was already set so it wouldn’t have changed anything if he had did just what was required. We will always have the poor and we will always have haters, people who have a reason to not like you & people who have no reason other than they can’t achieve what you have by hard work. What God has for him is for him. What good would it do to take a man’s life out of jealousy? It won’t make the one doing it be on top & have T.I.’s success, so what’s the point?
Everything happens for a reason & I hope T.I. realizes GOD is speaking to him & has given him favor (he could have done 10 years) & he needs to change his life. Time will tell all.

East Side Chevy Rider

April 1st, 2009
4:39 pm

T.I. keep your head up homey!!! The King will be back hotter than ever after this sentence. He’s the most realest rapper since Tupac so much swag, style, and substance. He’s a great business man several businesses in the A besides as a recording artist. Give it up for the man and quit hating. Everybody loves Lil Wayne this guy is straight garbage. T.I. is the best thing that hit the Atlanta rap scene since Outkast.

Alphonso Dowell Lithonia

April 2nd, 2009
11:59 am

I love you man I am from Hollywood Rd & Johnson Rd Westside for life T.I.get it over with and come home because you the King.Hay man god will be with you and he will take care of you and Tameka and the kids and your grandmother.Be good and we see you soon.
Alphonso
aka

JT

April 7th, 2009
4:41 pm

Zone 6 Trap Star….youy’re hilarious. Why would TI want to “knock off Shawty Lo”?

all i can say is wow

April 9th, 2009
4:56 pm

For the same reason you can’t spell “you’re” LOL

jazy-j yr #1 fan

April 13th, 2009
11:29 am

no matter what you will always be my number one artist the old you may be dead and gone but as longe as your Clifford Harris jr ill love you

Bigmeech

September 4th, 2010
1:17 am

T.I. busted for pot and meth…Typical thug