Rapper T.I. was arrested on Wednesday night in Los Angeles for alleged possession of a controlled substance. Police pulled over a vehicle in which he was a passenger after they allegedly smelled marijuana smoke coming from the car. According to Reuters, T.I. — real name Clifford Harris Jr. — and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle, were arrested after police seized “a handful of pills resembling ecstasy,” that were allegedly in the rapper’s possession. He was released from jail after posting bail, and has yet to be formally charged while the police test the confiscated pills.
Rappers and other celebrities with healthy rap sheets aren’t exactly a new trend. Fellow entertainer DMX is perhaps one of the most arrested people in Hollywood, with convictions stretching back from at least 1999 on charges related to drugs, weapons, animal cruelty, and driving violations, among others. His latest arrest and conviction came in March of this year, when he admitted to violating his probation and using drugs repeatedly. Yet he continues to be an extraordinarily successful rapper and actor. Harris himself is also one of the most popular rappers in the world, with millions of records sold, and has a flourishing acting career as well, with his latest movie, “Takers,” topping the box office this past weekend.
This is hardly the first time Harris has been arrested, although in recent months he appeared to be trying to move forward, making appearances to talk to students about the pitfalls of violence and drugs and returning to the recording studio to lay down new material. Television channel VH1 recorded a special on him to be aired in the coming months, and supporters as varied as former UN Ambassador Andrew Young had publicly praised the rapper for his new outlook.
These new charges threaten to at least partially endanger that momentum, however. Given the fact that he’s on probation and has only been out of prison approximately five months after serving time on federal weapons charges for purchase and possession of machine guns, and that he has numerous other drug- and weapon-related convictions that reach back to at least 1998, if he is found guilty of these new charges, it is likely he will return to prison. The good news is that, like his fellow celebrities, that is unlikely to affect his career too badly, other than the wait his fans will have to endure for new material if he goes back to jail.
Christine Kearney, “Rapper T.I. Arrested for Drug Possession in L.A.” Reuters.com
CNN.com “Rapper T.I. Arrested on Machine Gun Charges, Misses BET Show.”
Nekesa Mumbi Moody, “Rapper T.I. Comeback Could be Derailed With Arrest.” YahooNews.com
Charles Montaldo, “DMX X: Mugshot and Criminal History” About.com
David Schwartz, “Rapper DMX Sentenced to Six Months in Arizona Jail.” Reuters.com