Rapper T.I. was sentenced in an Atlanta courtroom today 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. Upon sentencing, he said:
“I would like to say thank you to some, and apologize to others. In my life, I have been placed in the worst-case scenario and had to make the best of it. Most often, things I have learned have been from trial and error. I knew no way to protect myself than to arm myself.”
The sentence ended up being far lighter than it could’ve been, thanks in part to the extensive community service the rapper has done over the past year. He mentored at-risk students at 58 schools, 12 Boys & Girls Clubs, nine churches and many other nonprofit organizations, according to court documents. He also starred in the MTV reality show, T.I.’s Road to Redemption: 45 Days to Go, which chronicles his efforts to shave years off his sentence by completing his community service.
While I certainly don’t condone the behavior that got him in this mess to begin with, I think the work he’s done with troubled youth is admirable. It might all just be a sham for leniency, but it actually seems that he’s realizing the error of his ways, and would like to turn things around. I certainly hope that’s the case.