Concerts

You Think You Know T.I., But You Have No Idea

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T.I. the Actor

Say what you will about his authorship, but T.I. is a decent actor. He's appeared in films like ATL (loosely based on T.I.'s upbringing) and Takers (alongside Idris Elba, Matt Dillon, and the late Paul Walker), as well as hits like American Gangster in which he played Denzel Washington's nephew.

Helped in part by his good looks, charm, and organic acting technique, he's managed to portray believable characters better than most other rappers who've tried. In a genre shift, T.I.'s set to appear alongside Paul Rudd in Marvel's Ant-Man this July.

T.I. the Guardian

T.I. is not a humble rapper. He's boasted about personal experiences like his impressive net worth, serving time, bedding women, but T.I. -- to our knowledge -- has never rapped about saving lives. Twice.

On at least two occasions, T.I. did, though, actually save people from committing suicide. This is real-life proof the man has good timing and a definitive way with words.

The first incident occurred back in 2010, when T.I. heard about a man atop Atlanta's 400 Colony Square Building (also home to Atlanta rap station V-103) who intended to jump. The rapper called one of V-103's morning DJs, Ryan Cameron, and suggested that he, T.I., could help. Arriving sans his usual entourage, T.I. recorded a video message on a cell phone which a negotiator delivered to the man on the roof. Moments later the man stepped back from the ledge.

This all occurred months after the rapper's yearlong prison term for a federal weapons charge and two days before he was to appear in court for a drug-related parole hearing. One could say the system set him straight. T.I. paid debt elsewhere:

"I'm not taking any credit," he told Cameron in an interview. "It could have been resolved in another way. The fact of the matter is God put me in a position, and put in my spirit to be in the position to help, and I can't take any credit for that."

And T.I.'s God wasn't done with him yet.

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Dyllan Furness
Contact: Dyllan Furness