T.I. reports to prison


T.I. keeps a sunny disposition on his way to the brig.

Despite his ignominious conviction on weapons and drug charges, despite spinning the straw of his celebrity into punitive gold (the Atlanta rapper got a reduced sentence, and was allowed to stay out of the pokey a full year after his conviction), T.I. actually seems to be heading for the clink with a bit of dignity.

T.I. forbids embedding, so we'll have to make do with this user made video. Next best thing, really.

"You shouldn't take the things that I've gone through, and the negative parts of my life, and admire me for that," T.I. said. "If anything, admire me for how I've accepted responsibility for the part I played in placing myself in these situations, and what I've done to recover from it."

It's funny how humble a guy can get, and how quick, when he gets his ass busted on some rinky-dink, dipshit crime that could only be called a crime of disapassion. T.I.'s attempted weapons purchase is Winona lifting blouses out of a Soho H and M all over again-- the kind of crime committed out of some vestigial appetite for a cheap, youthful thrill. His attitude about it after the fact has been so gracious and sheepish that one either sees T.I. admitting to his own stupidity, or just trying to save his skin from four years in a prison full of people eager to get a piece of him by any means necessary (we'll let you take your own pick, though Gimme Noise has always been a strong believer in Occam's Razor).

As a multi-millionaire rapper, T.I. is as far from the streets and all their perils as the moon is from Morocco. And he isn't even the kind of rapper that other rappers want to kill. He's a major F.M. bumper and grinder, enthusiast of booties, has little more on his mind than his own money and the flygirl in V.I.P.

So where is this paranoia? Eminem's security concerns? Probably well-founded. His loud mouth, his insatiable appetite for beef, and his ethnicity (for which he makes no apologies) have put him in more than a few crosshairs. But who has ever thought of wasting a bullet on T.I. (excepting, of course, those unlucky dozens who tuned into his reality T.V. show  "T.I.'s Road to Redemption")?

Anyway, T.I. has marched to prison, stepping directly from the Phillip's Arena in his hometown of Atlanta last night, where he performed before 16,000 of his dear devoted, and into a police protected motorcade. And he seems to have done it with a bit of grace. No posturing, no oaths of vendetta, no swearing vengeance, no cries of foul play. Nothing but apologies and vows to straighten up.

It'll be 366 before T.I. sees the light of day again, but we'll certainly be hearing from him before then. Expect a Dateline prison interview, lengthy blogs, and maybe even a prison single, if his exemplary behavior grants him access to the prison dictophone.