Rapper T.I. reports to a Georgia prison on May 26 to serve a yearlong sentence for a felony weapons charge, but before that he did a tour of New York. He appeared at an anti-gun march in Harlem on May 11 and a dinner party hosted by Warner Music’s Lyor Cohen at the Audi Forum on May 12, where he showed up a full hour early, lingering on the sidewalk, greeting fans and passersby. He avoided talking to the press, but others there did: “He’ll go do what he has to do, and the world will be a better place because of it,” said LL Cool J. Santigold thought T.I. could use the time to enrich his mind. “I wanted to give him a list of books to read,” she said, mentioning Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, “but he said he doesn’t like fiction, so I have to think of other books.” Rapper Sean Paul, meanwhile, ruminated on how he’d manage a year behind bars: “I would build a basketball hoop and play every day. I’d learn how to dunk.” T.I. himself didn’t spend more than fifteen minutes in his seat; rather than touch his gazpacho, he went outside to greet Jay-Z with a hug and a fist bump. From there, the rapper would be off to Miami, according to his entourage, for a private party and some time at the strip clubs.
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