Fans Cheer TI at 'Bye Bash' Before Prison

48 hours before prison, Atlanta rapper sells out arena
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2009 9:18 AM CDT
The Grammy-winning rapper is to report by noon tomorrow to prison to serve a sentence for weapons possession. "What I need y'all to do is pray for me while I'm gone," he said to the audience.    (AP Photo/Kat Goduco)
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(Newser) – TI returned to his native Atlanta to play a sold out "Goodbye Bash" last night, just two days before he reports to a federal prison for a weapons conviction. Many of his fans expressed support for the convicted rapper, whom they described as a role model, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Going to prison is like waking up in the morning," shrugged one producer. "It happens to everybody."

TI, already a convicted felon, was sentenced to a year and a day for illegal firearms possession. A federal judge last week denied a motion to delay the start of his sentence. One young parent, who brought her two children to the concert, called TI a positive influence for her son and daughter. She seemed incredulous that he was about to be behind bars. "I mean, is he really going in?" she asked.