Grammy-winning rapper T.I. talks about what books he read behind bars last year when he served a one-year prison sentence on a felony gun conviction in the new issue of JET.
Talking with reporter Clarence Waldron, the “King of the South” revealed a few novels he dove into while in prison.
The bestseller “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell. “It’s about how recognizing small things make a big impact in your life,” T.I. says. “I also read in its entirety “The Coldest Winter Ever” and “Midnight” (both by Sister Souljah). “I read those in two days a piece. Those are the only novels I read, everything else I read for information.” Another book that captivated him was “Superman To Man,” (by J. A. Rogers), which deals with whites feeling they were superior to blacks. “A white man got on the train feeling like Superman and he got off that train feeling like just a man.” Since he’s been home, he’s been reading the dictionary, searching for proper spellings of words. “I just try to keep my vocabulary sharp,” he says. (My JET)
T.I. recently said he believed prison moved him away from his positive path prior to going behind bars in May 2009.
“When I was goin’ through it, I really felt like it added insult to injury. The lesson had already been learned. I already understood the errors in my ways and made the adjustments necessary. It did make me worse in a sense that, before I went in, I was already on a path of positivity. Putting me in prison took me off that path a little bit, and now I’m working to get back on that path–or at least back on the path to the extent that I was before I went in. I’m still not as bad as I was before this incident, but I lost a little bit of my positive focus during that period of incarceration. Being in that environment and having those daily surroundings, it’s going to affect you.” (Complex)
FUSE TV television host Toure recently told SOHH the passing of T.I.’s friend Big Phil in 2006 had a larger impact on him than his time in prison.
“I think that really opened his eyes and that’s what made him say, ‘You know, I’m never going to get myself into this situation again.’ I think he really learned and took a lot from that situation and made the changes he felt were necessary. So T.I. really had to rearrange himself emotionally after that situation. And I think that taking care of himself emotionally dealing with Phil had a much bigger impact than when he went to jail because this is a man who’s already been there before. So that’s not a huge experience for him.” (SOHH Guest Star)
The rapper’s one-year jail bid stemmed from him being arrested on felony gun possession charges in 2007.
T.I. was sentenced in March 2009 on felony weapons charges arising from a 2007 arrest, when he was apprehended just before a scheduled appearance at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. TheAtlanta rapper pleaded guilty in March 2008 and struck a plea deal: a sentence of a year and a day would be contingent upon the star paying a $100,000 fine and completing 1,500 hours of community service; 1,000 hours to be finished before entering prison and 500 after his release. Also, post-prison, T.I. agreed to submit to drug counseling, a curfew, random property searches, DNA testing and a yearlong home confinement, among other conditions of the deal. (MTV)
The new JET is scheduled to hit newsstands Monday, August 9th.
Check out a recent T.I. interview below: