The hip-hop community is rallying around [artist id=”1225081″]T.I.[/artist] after he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on Friday (March 27) in Atlanta for felony weapons charges stemming from his October 2007 arrest on the eve of the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
Friends like [artist id=”3174235″]Bun B[/artist] and Big Boi are wishing T.I. all the best as he embarks on his time behind bars. “From I’m Serious to Paper Trail, T.I. (and T.I.P. for that matter) has shown incredible growth as an artist, businessman and a friend,” Bun B said in a statement to MTV News. “The young wild brother with the leather Bankhead pullover that was ’dope boy fresh’ has become the Purple Label- and Louis Vuitton-draped movie and recording star he worked so hard to become.”
Bun B also addressed that while T.I. is in jail, “The void left by his absence will be unfillable, not only to his family but his followers and friends, so we must pray for his safe return. As a friend, I hate to see this for you, but I know you to be a man that accepts his responsibilities and an all-around stand-up guy,” he said, adding, “May God bless you and your bloodline and watch over you behind the walls.”
Meanwhile, Big Boi kept his well-wishes short and sweet, telling MTV News in a statement, “Keep your head up, T.I. All of us from Atlanta are behind you 100 percent. ATL is riding strong for you, as you’ve come a long way, and this is only another step in your life that will only make you stronger.”
After he appeared in court Friday, T.I. addressed his sentence during a press conference. “Although I am not thrilled about my next year and a day, I am pleased that I am beginning the process of putting this all behind me,” he said. “Thank you, and I apologize to my family, to the young men, young women that I mentor. I hope that I can keep at least one, if not a million or more, from going down a similar path. I just want to say thank you.”
MTV News will have more from T.I. today and throughout the weekend, including Sway’s exclusive interview with the rapper. Don’t miss “T.I.’s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning,” airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.