Rapper T.I. released from prison early, headed to halfway house
Rapper T.I., real name Clifford Harris Jr., was released from prison Wednesday a month early, bound for a halfway house in his home state of Georgia from a low-security federal prison in Arkansas where he'd been held after violating federal probation.
"Feels great to be back where I belong ... Back in the arms of those who need me the most," Tip said Wednesday morning on Twitter, shortly after leaving federal prison in Arkansas.
"The storm is over & da sun back out. IT'S OUR TIME TO SHINE SHAWTY!!!!! Welcome to the beginning of our Happy Ending!!!!"
T.I. was sentenced in October 2010 to 11 months in prison for violating his probation on federal weapons charges. An experimental sentence in that case had him touring to talk to kids about the dangers of violence and drugs before serving seven months in prison and doing the halfway-house thing back in 2009. His probation required that he obey all laws and possess no controlled substances.
The rapper and his wife, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, were arrested a year ago on suspicion of drug possession after a Sept. 1 traffic stop on the Sunset Strip. With the federal probation violation looming for T.I., local prosecutors did not pursue charges against him. Charges against Tiny were also dropped after she completed 24 sessions in a drug-diversion program.
"Those who need me most" include his wife, with whom the "Takers" cast member has two boys and a stepdaughter, and his two sons and a daughter from previous relationships.
Also awaiting T.I. on the outside? A deal with HarperCollins to publish a novel he's written (look for "Power & Beauty" in October) and a VH1 reality show set to air in December, chronicling his return home from prison. He turns 31 on Sept. 25.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: T.I. in Beverly Hills on Aug. 20, 2010. He was in the L.A. area for the opening of the movie "Takers," in which he appeared. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times