Friday, March 27, 2009

T.I.'s Multiple Choice: Life, Death, or Jail?

Three years after his friend Philant Johnson a.k.a. “Big Phil” was killed in a highway shooting, T.I. was faced with a multiple choice question: life, death, or jail? It’s well known that stars because of their fame and fortune must be well protected by security guards and police officers. It’s one thing to be traumatized when your friend is shot dead, but to have your friend killed when you have a small army for protection everywhere you go is something else entirely. One could only imagine what could have been going to through T.I.’s head after the shooting. The music business of “Hip-Hop” is not for the faint of heart as it has buried Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, and a countless number of rising stars due to shootings. Eventually, T.I. decided that the “star studded” protection wasn’t enough; T.I knew that those bullets that hit “Big Phil” were “meant for him”.

In 2007, T.I. was arrested for attempting to buy machines guns and silencers. “These charges would have given him a 10 year sentence and a 250,000 fine for each count. However, after a plea bargain was reached, he only faces a sentence of a year and a day as of March 27, 2009. Furthermore, he has already completed most of his community service hours and will be on probation for three years upon his release while serving sixty additional hours of home detention”(MSNBC,2009).

Who can truly say whether or not T.I. was justified in his decision to purchase machines guns? It’s safe to say that most people have not had to endure their best friend being shot and the paranoia and despair that follows. If there’s one vital flaw in T.I.’s logic, it was the intent to purchase illegal machine guns with silencers. The idea of a machine gun alone is frightening, but a silencer makes the skin crawl. A silencer implies that one would want to kill somebody out of premeditation without anyone discovering his actions.

In the end, the legal system will make sure T.I. pays his debt to society for his actions although, there was no harm done with the exception of him breaking the law. TI. says, “My family, friends, and most of all, my son, King, will suffer tremendously by my absence, but I will suffer the most not being able to there for him and his mother” (T.I.’s Road To Redemption,2009).