Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is bigger than community service for T.I.

Check out the amazing post Necole Bitchie wrote up on a visit T.I. made to a YMCA in Atlanta last week. T.I. is an intelligent dude that just made a few mistakes as alot of us do growing up in the not so good neighborhoods. The good thing about him is that he is not afraid to admit his faults and learn from them. A lot of people could learn a thing or 2 from this. MAN UP!!!

Last week T.I visited a local YMCA in Atlanta and spoke in front of a class of about 20 students as part of a music producer workshop. Although, bloggers and media were not allowed in the building I crept my way in anyway as I was very interested in what kind of message T.I was spreading as a part of his community service. Surprisingly, when he entered the room, he jumped right into his delivery as if public speaking came as easy as writing rhymes.

T.I spoke with passion as he told the kids that they can not believe everything that they see in entertainment because it is far from reality. He compared it to being sold Filas in a Prada box stating “It’s up to you to determine what is real and what is being sold to you that is fake”. He also touched on his recent plea deal stating “People say it’s because I have money. People say it’s because I have good lawyers. What if I have God. This isn’t the worst that I’ve been through. People say I'm turning into a preacher. I'm not a preacher..but I do have a testimony" (my favorite part). He touched a little on gangs and how they don't make sense before he closed out his message, telling the kids “You can learn two things from me; what to do and what not to do” with hopes that the youth would not only look at the positive things he has done but would also learn from the mistakes he made.

Afterwards the kids had the opportunity to ask T.I questions. One of them was "If you had the choice to do it all over again, would you be an artist or behind the scenes" to which he answered "I would have definitely settled for being a manager or CEO and I wouldn't have been in the limelight as much". He also was asked "When you first started did you do it for the love or the money". T.I gave a small chuckle before he answered "When I first started I did the album "So Serious" and that was for the love of it. That didn't work so I came out with the simpliest hook I could think of *(starts singing) Money, Hoes, cars and clothes that's how all my people roll* and that was a hit. So I kept making music like that until people started telling me they wanted the old T.I back, so I went in and started penning some real music".

I acquired a newfound respect for T.I when the coordinator attempted to wrap up the questions as she wanted T.I to spend an ample amount of time with the producer workshop students and he replied "we can take more questions, I'll stay as long as I have to". Throughout his speech, I watched as the kids hung on to every single word he said and that's when I realized that his sentencing was appropriate. Sweet deal or not, he is doing way more good for the community speaking to the youth than he would be behind bars and I just wish more artists would step up and do the same without law enforcement forcing them to do so.

After the workshop, The Atlanta Journal Constitution was granted the first exclusive interview with T.I since he pleaded guilty. T.I talked about his arrest, losing his endorsement deal with GM, and his engagement to fiancee Tiny. Check out the interview

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