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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

T.I. and Redemption

The word redemption cam mean deliverance; rescue. It gives the idea of a dramatic change. What does the idea of redemption have to do with T.I.?

I know that some readers of this blog have no idea who T.I. is, so let me provide some information:

Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., (born September 25, 1980), better known by his stage name T.I., and also by his alter ego T.I.P., is a Grammy-award winning American rapper, songwriter, producer, actor, and co-CEO of Grand Hustle Records.[1] As of January 2009, T.I. has had nine Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles, with three of them reaching number one ("My Love" with Justin Timberlake, "Whatever You Like", and "Live Your Life" featuring Rihanna).

Now T.I. may be famous and has had many hit records but his life has constantly been surrounded with controversy and trouble.

T.I. was on probation stemming from a 1998 conviction for violating a state controlled substances act and for giving false information. After being released on probation, he earned a litany of probation violations in several counties around Georgia for offenses ranging from possession of a firearm to possession of marijuana.[38] In 2006, after appearing in an Atlanta court on (May 10) and having charges that he threatened a man outside a strip club last year dropped for lack of evidence, T.I. was arrested on an outstanding probation violation warrant from Florida. The warrant claimed that T.I. did not complete the required number of community service hours he was sentenced for a 2003 assault of a female sheriff deputy at University Mall in Tampa. T.I. was detained by several mall Security Guards at the time of the incident, among them, Jason Phillips (founder of Certified Protective Services), Larry Warner (founder of Tactical Response Services), and Arturo Ortiz, now a security manager in Florida. According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the rapper’s attorney said that the problem was nothing more than a "technical matter" between Georgia and Florida. The confusion arose because T.I. was also sentenced to community service in Georgia for driving with a suspended license, for which he did complete 75 hours of community service in his home state. The rapper was released on bail shortly after being arrested, and was expected to surrender to Florida state authorities the following week to resolve the matter.[39]

On October 13, 2007, federal authorities arrested T.I. four hours before the BET Hip-Hop Awards[40]. He was charged with two felonies — possession of three unregistered machine guns and two silencers, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon. The arrest was made in the parking lot of a downtown shopping center, which a witness identified as the Walgreens drug store at the corner of North and Piedmont Avenues. Harris was arrested after allegedly trying to purchase the guns from a "cooperating witness" with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. According to federal officials, the witness had been cooperating with authorities since Wednesday, when he was arrested on charges of trying to purchase guns from a federal agent. The witness had been working as Harris' bodyguard since July, authorities said.[41][42] T.I. walked out of the Atlanta United States District Court after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan J. Baverman on October 26, 2007. Judge Alan J. Baverman required T.I. post a $3 million bond, $2 million in cash and $1 million in equity on property he owns. The rapper was required to remain at home except for medical appointments and court appearances. The only people allowed to live with him were his girlfriend and children. Visitors were required to be approved by the court. T.I.'s suppression hearing was originally stated for January 3, 2008; however, U.S. Magistrate Alan J. Baverman pushed back the suppression hearing until February 19, 2008. The performer later pleaded guilty to US federal weapons charges. He will serve a year in jail beginning in March 2009 after completing 1,000 hours of community service.[43]

In an interview with MTV about serving jail time, T.I. stated, "Presumably, while I'm there, I'll be able to strategize my comeback." He went on to say that he would not "just be sitting still doing nothing".[44]

On November 21, 2008, T.I. testified in the murder trial of a member of his entourage, Philant Johnson, who was murdered in a shooting that occurred after a post-concert party at a club.[45]

Source: T.I.


Now this is where the idea of redemption comes into the story:

The following is from Dasouth.com


This new video called "Dead and Gone" premiered yesterday. We saw it and heard the story behind it and thought it interesting that it starts off with a scripture among other things. The "script" is 1 Corinthians 13:11 to be exact. It says "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thougth as a child. But when I became a man, I put childish things away." Is T.I. saying he's considering turning over a new leaf?

T.I. has been through a lot in the last year or so, and we truly think he is beginning to reflect on his life. Think about it... Clifford Harris (his government name) is currently serving time! That definitely gives you time to think on your life. And with all of his grand success, homeboy still landed up in the prison! That ought to be a wake-up call for anybody. That also goes to show that money and fame doesn't rehabilitate people. Only God can truly change a life.

Many times we look at "superstars" as being people who can't be redeemed for some reason. Or that they have no interest in ever serving God. Yo, we were all considered sinners. God is not saving us according to our pocketbooks or social status. Pray for good ol' Clifford. Perhaps it'll be your prayers and ours that cause things to move in his life and lead him to Jesus.

Back to this video...According to MTV, the song and video (which feature Justin Timberlake) are tributed to a friend of T.I's that was shot and killed in 2006 at one of his shows in Ohio. "Toward the end of the video, the Atlanta rapper drives his car to a crossroad and gets out of his vehicle to meet Timberlake, who's positioned at the center of the road. The song's bridge begins and images of T.I. with his wife, a pastor, and a serpent flash across the screen, as does the word "good." Then images of a prison yard flash along with the word "evil," before the word "redemption" pops up followed by a picture of Philant Johnson's grave" (from MTV.com). Interesting hunh?

Bottomline, keep homey in your prayers.

I agree with the article that we need to pray for T.I.

The original version of this song contains many obscenities. The following is an edited version of the song.

Here is the video the article was talking about:

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> posted by Trevor Hammack at

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