ATLANTA — [artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist] opened his life up to the “Road to Redemption” cameras, allowing them to follow him through highs, lows and everything in between. But now that he’s been sentenced and is set to report to jail within the next 60 days, the rapper said it may be time for him to hush up about his ordeal. As he put it, he’s taking a “vacation” of sorts.
“This is probably the last time I speak about this,” Tip told MTV News’ Sway on Saturday, just one day after his fate was sealed in a Georgia federal courthouse. “Don’t ask me no more questions. Finito.” The exclusive interview, scheduled to air Tuesday on MTV, will be the first the wordsmith has given since a district judge officially sentenced him to one year and one day in prison. The sit-down will also be the only time Tip speaks to a media outlet about his case prior to entering prison.
The conversation touched on a series of topics, including his final thoughts as he stood before the judge, his appearance in court and his plans to spend time with his family for the next few weeks — out of the spotlight.
“I’m always working,” T.I. said. So now he hopes to take a break from his career and concentrate on his loved ones. He explained that some of his family members are still trying to come to grips with his impending departure, but “by the time they get over it, I’ll be home,” T.I. said with a small laugh.
The interview, billed as “T.I.’s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning,” wasn’t all jokes, however. Although the rapper expressed pride in owning up to his mistakes in court, he also said he felt embarrassed as the kids from the show watched him stand before the judge . He was ashamed that he hadn’t learned his lesson until later in life. Ultimately, though, T.I. said he felt “relieved” to close the dark chapter of his life that started on the eve of the 2007 BET Hip-Hop Awards, when he was busted for illegally attempting to purchase firearms . Tip has said in interviews and in his lyrics that he tried to buy the guns as a means to protect himself in the wake of the 2006 shooting death of his close friend and assistant, Philant Johnson .
T.I. said he became more mild-mannered, patient and thoughtful in the time following his arrest, which he described in court on Friday as “the most insightful period of my life.”
“I showed what you should do [when you make a mistake],” he told Sway. “If you did it, you did it. Don’t try to pass the buck on to someone else.”
MTV News will have more from T.I. in the coming days. Don’t miss “T.I.’s Road to Redemption: The Reckoning,” airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.