In his first public statement since his arrest on federal weapons charges last month, rapper T.I. said he was spending his days writing songs for a new CD, expressed confidence that he will be found not guilty, and declared, “the king ain’t dead.”
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., spoke out in a 2 1/2 minute video message posted on Streetcred.com, a social networking Web site that Harris started.
The video, shot in Harris’ Jonesboro home, shows him sitting on a softly lit orange couch in a house robe and a stocking cap on his head.
“You know, it’s a very trying time right now, but I want to let everybody know that I plead not guilty and I gotta stress my innocence, you know, to everyone out there who’s listening,” he says in the clip.
Harris, 27, added that he had faith in the system and looked forward to being exonerated.
“God will never take you to what he can’t take you through,” he says in his message.
Harris said he was spending his free time reading, writing, and working on his new CD, “Paper Trail.”
Harris has gone most of his career without writing down any of his rhymes, emulating peers such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Ja Rule, according to MTV, the music television network. The title of his new CD comes from the fact that he has once again put ink to pad, the network reported.
The network, quoting Harris’ publicist, also said that an engineer was cleared to visit Harris a week and a half ago, and the two began working on songs.
“I’m getting a lot of work done, man. A lot of music, man, being recorded,” Harris adds in his message. “But, my main message is, it’s not over. And the king ain’t dead.“
He can continue to live in his Jonesboro home with his girlfriend and his children. He cannot consume alcohol. He can only have up to three visitors at a time, all of whom have to undergo a background check. And his movements are confined to his property.
Still, Harris appears to be taking his bond conditions well.
“And thank you to the judge,” he says in the video, in a shout out to U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman, “for even allowing me the privilege of being on house arrest and being here — instead of, you know, the clear alternative.”