[artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist] recently had time to chop it up with friends [artist id="1243444"]Young Jeezy[/artist] and [artist id="760701"]Nelly[/artist] as they took in the Atlanta Hawks playoff game versus the Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta’s Philips Arena. Soon after, the King of the South made his way from his hometown up to Harlem, New York, to join forces with the Reverend Al Sharpton and his National Action Network to speak out against gun violence following the tragic the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Corey Squire.
Just days away from beginning his jail sentence for felony weapons charges , a relaxed Tip addressed the many onlookers who came out to show their support for the “Bury Da Beef” campaign.
“First of all, I want to apologize to everyone,” T.I. said, referring to his own publicized weapons case. He also talked about the mistakes he’s made and explained why he’s the perfect person to speak to the youth today.
“I know what it’s like,” he continued. “I’ve come into Harlem, I’ve spoken at schools before. These kids know I lived the life I’m now living. They know I’ve seen the likely outcome of their mistakes. I’ve caught cases, I’ve been to jail, I’ve had attempts on my life and I’m still standing. I’ve learned from it. I have the experience that living this life of crime — I know where they’re headed.”
Tip also expounded on the ramifications of gun violence.
“We don’t understand the pain that goes on with mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers,” he said about the victims of gun violence. “There are households being destroyed. You’re not just killing a man, you’re killing a family. But just like we can destroy, we can rebuild, and that’s what we’re here to do.”
Immediately following the rally, T.I. — flanked by his Warner Music Group boss Kevin Liles, fellow MC and possible future labelmate Ja Rule and members of his K.I.N.G. Foundation — participated in a peace walk, visiting the site where Squire’s life was cut short by a hail of bullets. Before his exit, a confident T.I. assured the audience he’d emerge from his prison sentence stronger than ever.
“When I get back — ’cause I will be back — you’ll see me standing stronger, wiser and richer.”