As T.I. counts down his time as a free man, he's getting a few things in order.
The rapper is keeping busy with his MTV show "Road to Redemption," and he performed a show this past weekend in Miami, bidding adieu to many of his ardent supporters before serving prison sentence. And he's still recording music, getting in some last-minute studio time with DJ Toomp and others.
[artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist] (real name: Clifford Harris) is set to go before an Atlanta federal judge on March 27. According to the April issue of Vibe, that's when Tip will officially be sentenced to prison. The sentence is part of an agreement the rapper struck after pleading guilty to weapons charges, stemming from his 2007 arrest prior to the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. The rapper was charged with possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
Speculation had the rapper entering prison anytime from late February to early March, but in the Vibe cover story, the lawyers involved in the case explain some of the details of the rapper's plea deal.
"His guilt was never seriously questioned in our mind," U.S. Attorney David Nahmias told Vibe of how the rapper was sentenced. "We often give significant sentence reductions to people who cooperate in a more traditional way by providing information about other criminals. What [the defense] proposed, and what I ultimately thought was reasonable, is that Mr. Harris has the ability to reach thousands, probably tens of thousands of people, particularly at-risk young people. And that out of the tens of thousands of people he could reach, he has the real possibility of getting at least a few of them not to commit the kinds of crimes we would prosecute."
T.I. received a deferred jail sentence of one year and one day followed by three years supervised release, plus 1,500 hours of community service and a $ 100,000 fine. Home confinement was also part of the deal, as well as completing 1,000 of the community-service hours before his jail time. According to Tip's recording home, Atlantic Records, he's well on his way to completing the hours.
T.I.'s probation officer, Billy Marlow, acknowledged the rapper's work completing his plea requirements. "I think he's definitely learned from his mistake," he said.