It’s not likely that any—in T.I.’s words—”Joe Blow” could have received the same plea deal the rapper did. And he knows it. As seen in the video below, a clip from tonight’s finale of his show “Road to Redemption,” T.I. recognizes that his fame helped usher in a significant exception that lessened a potential 10-year prison term to community service and a year’s worth of jail time.
The night before the 2007 BET Hip-Hop Awards, T.I. was caught illegally attempting to buy firearms. The arrest and its aftermath has been covered by news media for months (including GIANT), but finally culminated this past Friday, March 27, when the MC was officially sentenced by a Northern Georgia District Judge. This same judge called the plea deal “experimental,” T.I.’s attorney “unique,” and T.I., himself, an “opportunity,” as its specifications are different than most. If T.I. were to be sentenced to just one year in prison, for example, he would be required to complete the entire sentence. The sentence of one year and one day could allow T.I. to be released earlier for good behavior.
In the rapper’s own words, he’s proved himself “worthy” of the arrangement, as he’s completed 1,030 hours of community service, not counting his MTV show (that’s 30 more than required), as well as 305 days of his required one-year home confinement (he will finish the term once released.) On tonight’s finale of “Road to Redemption,” the show that followed T.I. in his attempts to help change the lives of desperate and misguided teens across the country, the MC sits down with MTV reporter Sway to discuss his final thoughts on the case: “Don’t ask me no more questions. Finito.” This is the first interview T.I. has given since sentenced and the only time he’ll be speaking with a media outlet prior to entering prison.
“T.I’s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning” airs tonight, Tuesday, March 31, at 9pm ET on MTV.
– Danielle Cheesman