Will T.I.’s Post-Jail Probation Derail His Career?

A recent Washington Post editorial explored the consequences a jail sentence might have for contemporary rappers like T.I. and Lil Wayne. In it, veteran Texas emcee Bun B sheds some light on the matter: “Jail for anyone’s career is bad,” he said. “There’s no reason to be proud of going to jail unless you’re going to jail for activism.” Preach on, Bun. After completing a prison term for weapons possession charges this past March, T.I. began a new, 11-month sentence in an Arkansas jail on November 1, after being busted with a variety of drugs in his Maybach last month. The first time, he came out of jail soaring–marrying his long time girlfriend (who also got cuffed that night) appearing in the hit film Takers, and prepping his upcoming album No Mercy. But this time, it’s T.I.’s post-jail probation that might put the nail in his career’s coffin.

TMZ has fished out court documents detailing the one-year probation, and in addition to the obvious (or, maybe not so obvious?) stipulations: no firearms or otherwise deadly weapons, and routine drug testing, TIP will also be confined to the Northern district of Georgia unless he can prove “verified employment within the United States.” In laymans terms: a legit reason for leaving the state that doesn’t include doing drugs in Los Angeles.

The document further details that even with acceptable proof of work, T.I. won’t be able stretch his legs outside of Georgia for more than seven days a month, or more than seven days in a row. That would mean no international excursions and not a chance of having a normal touring or promotional schedule. The most trivial punishment in the leaked document forbids him from driving a vehicle, but that one might be just for spite. After all, if T.I. had taken the precautionary measure to pay someone else to ferry his drugs around in the first place, he wouldn’t be in this mess.

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