T.I. for of­fice?

The rap­per talks Tu­pac Shakur, ac­tivism

The Chatham Daily News - - ENTERTAINMENT - JOHN CARUCCI

NEW YORK — Rap­per T.I. has no plans to ever run for pub­lic of­fice, but he said he wants to make a dif­fer­ence in un­der­served com­mu­ni­ties through ac­tivism and mu­sic.

The At­lanta-based artist spoke about af­fect­ing pos­i­tive change in his com­mu­nity while back­stage at the Rock and Roll of Fame in­duc­tion cer­e­mony ear­lier this month in New York.

The rap­per per­formed in hon­our of the late Tu­pac Shakur af­ter Snoop Dogg in­ducted him into the Rock Hall.

“It’s an ex­treme hon­our,” said T.I. “I feel like, you know, as a kid, Pac was my favourite rap­per since the first time I heard him, and you know, that’s the first per­son I ever, as an artist, hoped to pat­tern my­self af­ter.”

Shakur was gunned down in 1996 in Las Ve­gas at the height of his ca­reer. If he were alive today, T.I. thinks he would be more than a mu­si­cian.

“Any­thing could have hap­pened with Pac, man. Just his di­verse in­tel­lect, and the way he thought out­side the box could have led him any­where in life,” he said. “He may have got­ten into politics by now. Who knows?”

T.I. has been ac­tive in the com­mu­nity, fo­cus­ing on youth pro­grams for boys and girls, and feels his role con­tin­ues to grow when it comes to pro­vid­ing help to those that need it most.

“We get bet­ter at it ev­ery year as we con­tinue to go in and men­tor and do things to help kids in the com­mu­nity. And right now we hope to have some part­ner­ships with some cor­po­ra­tions, strengthen our re­sources, and al­low us to do more.”

T.I. has ex­pressed frus­tra­tion over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s rhetoric on Twit­ter, but said he in­tends to fo­cus on do­ing things that “af­fect our com­mu­ni­ties in a pos­i­tive light.”

“Get in­volved with lo­cal elec­tions. Find out who your lo­cal politi­cians are and hold them ac­count­able to cre­ate sub­stance within the com­mu­nity,” said the rap­per, who plans on re­leas­ing new mu­sic later this year.

As for run­ning for po­lit­i­cal of­fice him­self, that’s not some­thing he sees in the cards.

“I don’t think so. I’m not a politi­cian. If I can use my in­flu­ence for the best for some­one else, who I feel is de­serv­ing, I would do that, but I am not a politi­cian,” he said. “I’m too mo­ti­vated.”

The Rock and Roll of Fame in­duc­tion cer­e­mony will air April 29 on HBO.

Rap­per T.I.

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