T.I. was the guest of honor in Jackson, Mississippi on Wednesday as he was presented with the key to the city.
The Atlanta-based rapper was feted during a special ceremony at City Hall, which was hosted by Mayor Tony Yarber, who praised the hip-hop star for using his many brushes with the law to encourage youths to make the right choices.
Accepting the accolade, T.I. said, “I can’t really change everyone’s opinion of me but I can change me.
“Everybody don’t catch on and everybody don’t acknowledge change at the same time, but the good part is, I ain’t doing it for them (sic). I don’t need credit. Just knowing that I can use my experiences, my past, good and bad, to help assist the future: children, teenagers, young adults and the grown people who may have gone through the same things. They can have an example showing that, ‘Hey, just because I fell down in something, doesn’t mean I got to stay down in it’. When it’s all said and done, I’ve seen people rise from the wreckage.”
During his visit to Jackson, T.I. also stopped by local schools to speak to students about how he overcame his troubled past. The rapper spent time behind bars for possession of weapons and drugs.
His Mississippi honor was an early birthday present of sorts for T.I. – the rapper/actor turned 34 on Thursday.
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