T.I. Makes First Public Appearance Since Prison

Rapper attends fiancée's Alzheimer's fundraiser; label partner says Tip's next album is due this summer.

On Monday night, [artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist] made his first public appearance since prison, stepping out with fiancée Tameka “Tiny” Cottle in support of her Alzheimer’s research fundraiser “For the Love of Our Fathers” at Atlanta’s Opera venue. The event was also filmed for Cottle’s BET reality show, “Tiny & Toya,” which chronicles the lives of Cottle and Toya Carter, Lil Wayne’s ex-wife and the mother of his first child.

“I am very well, very happy to be seen,” said T.I., who joined Cottle onstage at the end of the benefit, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

T.I. is still serving the remainder of his sentence on a gun-possession charge in a Georgia halfway house. He’s also recording tracks for his forthcoming album in a private studio. MTV News chatted with T.I.’s manager and Grand Hustle label partner Jason Geter to see when Tip’s post-prison album is slated to hit shelves.

“We did a deal with the film studio Screen Gems for the movie ‘Takers’ with T.I. Both the album and the film are coming out at the end of the summer,” Geter said. “So, yeah, we have a release date.”

“Takers,” a film about a bank heist interrupted by a detective, stars Zoe Saldana, T.I., Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen and hits theaters August 20.

“As for producers, we’ve been working with DJ Toomp and Lil Cee, who’s one of our in-house Grand Hustle producers,” Geter told MTV News. “We worked with Danja, the Runners, and we tried out some stuff with these new guys called the TrackSlayers. We’re actually working with a lot of new guys. At this point, you don’t really chase names. It’s about the quality of the material. As for features, we did a track with The-Dream, and Trey Songz is on another hook.”

The-Dream told MTV News that his collaboration with T.I. “sounds great. He’s sounding beautiful. His spirit is really good. He’s got the eye of the tiger.”

Regarding the direction of the album, Geter said the Atlanta MC is still figuring that out. “There’s no theme as of yet,” Geter said. “The sound is definitely not a bunch of samples.”

In May 2009, Tip started a 366-day jail term stemming from his October 2007 firearms-possession arrest. For much of 2008 and early 2009, Tip performed more than 1,000 hours of community service. Tip has 500 more hours of community service to perform once he is released from the halfway house in the coming months.