This has been a tough season for high profile young brothers. Too many of them, from Plaxico Burress to Chris Brown, have ruined their careers, their lives and the lives of others because of their involvement in violent crimes. A year and a half ago, rapper T.I. – real name, Clifford Harris – may have been involved in one of the dumbest crimes of the century. He was arrested in October 2007 in an Atlanta parking lot hours before he was to perform at the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
T.I. was caught in a federal sting after his bodyguard-turned-informant delivered three machine guns and two silencers to him, prosecutors said.
His story provided plenty material for comedians once it was brought out that the arrest took place in a Walgreen’s parking lot. After all, most people on the way to a show stop at a store for bottled water and gum, not automatic weapons.
It looked like the year 2007 was the beginning of the end for the multi-platinum rapper, who starred in the hit movie “ATL”, was featured in Chevy commercials and had been named to Forbes’ list of top-earning rappers, making an estimated $16 million in 2006.
The year that T.I. took a huge fall, another young entertainer’s star was on the rise. In 2007, Chris Brown had two number-one hit singles, and his debut album in 2005 sold over 2 million copies in the U.S. By 2007, Chris Brown had landed acting jobs on several TV shows, appeared in two major films and was featured in MTV show, “Chris Brown: My Super 18,” that chronicled his 18th birthday celebration in New York City. His “The Exclusive Holiday” concert tour kicked off in December 2007 and concluded in February 2008 in Hawaii. During that time, it seemed like Chris Brown’s life couldn’t be more different than T.I.’s, and if anyone had to choose whose life would turn out better, most would have chosen Chris, hands down.
But almost one year to the date that his successful tour ended, he was booked on suspicion of making threats, which led to his highly publicized arrest for allegedly causing injuries to his girlfriend Rihanna. His commercial advertisements were pulled, public performances canceled and his future as a performer is in doubt. If convicted on some of the most serious of several charges, Chris Brown could serve many, many years in prison.
T.I., on the other hand, was sentenced on Friday to one year and one day in prison and ordered to a pay $103,300 fine on weapons charges. Since his arrest and time served in prison last year, T.I. has done everything from mentoring at-risk students to encouraging people to register and vote in November’s presidential election. The 28-year-old received praise from former Atlanta Mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and Bishop Eddie Long.
Count me among those who believe that T.I. appeared to be a guy who really wanted to do everything he could not just to save his career, but to make a difference in the lives of some people along the way. It’s too soon to see what Chris Brown will do, but so far he’s made some mistakes since the allegations that make me wonder whether he’ll be able to turn his career around. I hope that the person who got a hold to T.I. can get Chris’s ear and advise him on how to handle himself during this crisis mode.
Either way, it just goes to show that second chances aren’t always given to people. Sometimes second chances are earned.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
1 of 25
2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
2 of 25
3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
3 of 25
4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
4 of 25
5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
5 of 25
6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
6 of 25
7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
7 of 25
8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
8 of 25
9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
9 of 25
10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
10 of 25
11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
11 of 25
12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
12 of 25
13. Moms got my back
13 of 25
14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
14 of 25
15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
15 of 25
16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
16 of 25
17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
17 of 25
18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
18 of 25
19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
19 of 25
20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
20 of 25
21. Goodnight - here's a song
21 of 25
22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
22 of 25
23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
23 of 25
24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
24 of 25
25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
25 of 25