Rapper T.I. is featured on the April 2009 issue of VIBE Magazine. This will be his last magazine cover as a free man before he heads to prison later this month to serve a year-long sentence for charges related to his illegal possession of firearms. The issue basically talks about how people screamed “Snitch!” when T.I. got his sentencing. Most were expecting him to be put away for a very long while, but when news broke of him only getting a year, people began to question his integrity. T.I. wants everyone to know that is definitely not the case. Peep the press release, which was sent out today, below and after the break.
In an extensive report titled “Cell Therapy,” VIBE Senior Editor Benjamin Meadows-Ingram chronicles the superstar’s history-making legal battle and gut-wrenching journey since his 2007 arrest for attempting to collect three unregistered machine guns and two silencers following his BET Hip Hop Awards performance rehearsal.
After the announcement on March 27, 2008 of what many felt was a shockingly light slap on the wrist for the serious charges, many responded by screaming, “Snitch!” However, authorities agreed to a groundbreaking plea deal negotiated by heavyweight Criminal Defense Attorney, Steve Sadow, who cited the star’s ability to influence others by serving 1500 hours of community service.
US Attorney David Nahmias says, “What [the defense] proposed, and what I ultimately thought was reasonable, is that Mr. Harris has the ability to reach thousands, probably tens of thousands of people, particularly at-risk young people. And that out of the tens of thousands of people he could reach, he has the real possibility of getting at least a few of them not to commit the kinds of crimes we would prosecute.”
T.I. bites back at rumors about how he scored this largely unprecedented deal by saying, “Ain’t no such thing as a secret snitch…Pull up my agreement. It’s public record.”
In the thought-provoking feature, Meadows-Ingram meets with the rapper/actor in Washington, D.C., on the eve of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, where T.I. accepted an award from the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network for his work with the “Respect My Vote” campaign. VIBE follows the rapper during some of his court-mandated speaking engagements and the filming of his MTV show, T.I’s Road to Redemption, where the newly minted role model motivates and inspires at-risk youths. VIBE’s feature story showcases remarkable photos of T.I. reenacting poses made famous by legendary cultural icons Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg.