Rapper T.I. has admitted having unregistered machine guns and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Now he has a chance to avoid a lengthy prison sentence by telling kids not to make the same mistakes he did.
T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, must spend at least 1,000 hours talking to youth groups about the pitfalls of guns, gangs and drugs before reporting for about a year in prison under a deal worked out Thursday.
“I’m looking forward to turning this negative time in my life into a positive,” Harris, 27, told reporters after the hearing. “I know I have a long road of redemption to travel.”
Dressed in a gray business suit, Harris pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of unregistered machine guns and silencers, unlawful possession of machine guns and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
He will be sentenced to serve about 12 months in prison after completing the community service, although his prison time could be increased or reduced depending on his fulfillment of the terms of the deal and good behavior, officials said.
Harris is one of rap music’s most successful artists. His sixth album, “T.I. vs. T.I.P.,” was released July 3, debuting at No. 1. He appeared in the 2007 film “American Gangster,” which starred Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.