Saturday, March 28, 2009

Either Die or go to Jail (That's a Hell of a Decision)

Today Rapper T.I. has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison and ordered to pay a $100,300 fine on weapons charges related to purchasing machine-guns and silencers. When I first heard news of him being charged, it didn't come as a surprise to me. Instead of ridiculing him for his mistake, I understood his motives. I've been listening to T.I.'s music for years and have purchased all of his albums (except for "I'm Serious"). In his music he expresses a lifestyle that most other artists mimick. Although he broke the law, to the Hip Hop community, he's highly respected. The fact that he lived what he rapped about makes his cred stronger.

I'm not condoning weaponary and violence at all but everyone has a right to protect his or herself especially if they feel threatened. At the time, T.I. had every reason to feel threatened. The bullets that killed his friend "Big Phil", in his presence, was meant for him. Sometimes the bodyguards aren't enough. Biggie Smalls, 2pac, Stack Bundles and Big L all fell victim to gunfire. He felt his back was against the wall and needed to protect himself. I understand because I was in a similar situations myself. Sometimes good people make mistakes. And I think T.I. will learn from his mistakes.

The following is an excerpt off T.I.'s Paper Trail album explaining some of his motives and reaction to his own situation:

"If your life was in jeopardy, everyday is you telling me
You wouldn't need weaponary just because of your felony?
Consider this at least, I got everybody sweating me
On the streets is people who won't rest unless I Rest In Peace
Killed my folk a year ago, still in my sleep they threaten me
Paranoia stressing me, ain't nobody protecting me
I'm dealing with the pressure from my partner dying next to me
Thing is no one's arrested, they coming for me eventually,
This was all the things that I was goin through mentally
This could be the reason I ignored the Penitentiary
Now mention them New Orlean niggas coming in the city
Killing all summer long, ain't nobody paying attention..
Now is it that hard to understand if you listen
Either die or go to jail, that's a hell of a decision
But I'm wrong and I know that my excuses ain't important
I'm just tryna let you know that I ain't think I had a choice"


  1. Yup, i agree 100%. T.I. is my favorite rapper. I got all the albums including I'm Serious. lol. But so many of these other dudes out there poppin off at the mouth bout all the negative things they do in the hood like they are glamorizing it. I love the way T.I. not only has that street cred, but he also lets his audience know that its not a good look. Some ppl think all this work he's doin is a publicity stunt...i dont think so at all. He's just tryna make a difference as far as im concerned.

  2. Exactly, although he's in a negative position, he's still sending a positive message.

  3. i agree with you. T.I. needed to carry guns because of all the people out there wanting to kill him. I like the facct that he wrote all the songs in paper trail himself because it shows how good he really is as an artist.
    "Look at folk like Sean Taylor. They said, had he had a strap, he'd of lived today."

  4. Exactly, sometimes you gotta take the neccessary pre-cautions.. I mean, after all, this is your life we're talking about.