I have been wrestling with posting this video for a while. T.I. is the artist and he uses chess images in the video. I try to make sure that we note as many chess references in rap music as possible. This one however was hard. Mainly because a lot of T.I.’s work as been cocooned with drug deal/thugged out/pimp lyrics and images.
Then everything changed. The press was everywhere:
Rapper T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, was arrested on Saturday in mid-town Atlanta regarding allegations that he attempted to purchase machine guns and silencers through a bodyguard. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reported that other firearms were found in Harris’ car located at his suburban Atlanta residence. Charges include possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers. Considering that the 27 year-old Harris is a convicted felon, he will also be charged with possession of firearms, which is illegal under the conditions of his parole.
Keep in mind now, rap comes from the streets. Young people making hard lives make this music. They don’t come from roses and joy all the time (and its reflected in much of raps content). But that does not mean, that the individual is inherently bad. But THIS…?
This was devastating. I shook my head for days. Was he really in danger? Was he pretending to be tougher than we was? Was he a bigger monster off stage than he appeared to be on wax?
I still don’t know. However, after all the bad press, the time to think (on house arrest) and the community service kicked in, a more mature T.I. seemed to be emerging.
Only God knows the hearts of men and only time will reveal T.I.’s true intent.
But we can only hope that the strategic mind he tries to showcase in this video, will be more evident in the way that he moves in his real future. We wish him the best.