No wonder why so many rappers aspire to be incarcerated. Why not, if all a little time in cell block B can do is improve your career and bring you closer to your fans? Not to mention provide you with a steady diet of supervised sodomy sessions in the community shower.
But thus is not necessarily the occupational philosophy of Clifford Harris.
Known on the streets as T.I., the Atlanta-born lyricist was recently sentenced to a year and one day in jail for weapons charges stemming from a 2007 arrest. In October of that year, Harris, who is not permitted to purchase firearms because of a prior felony conviction, was found in possession of enough machine guns and silencers to supply a large fraction of the 1920s New York Italian mafia.
Shortly after pleading guilty just over a year ago, however, Harris lamented his jail sentence but honorably vowed to find a silver lining surrounding his legal troubles. “While I’m not looking forward to being incarcerated, I have a long road of redemption to travel,” he told reporters outside the courtroom, according to The Associated Press.
“I’m looking forward to turning this negative time in my life into a positive. I’d like to thank God for blessing me with a second chance in life and success. I realize I completely violated the law, and I take it very seriously.”
Though a federal mandate related to the charges calls for more than four years in prison, Harris’ legal team concocted a creative and highly experimental plea agreement that, in addition to the time behind bars, carried a $100,300 fine and 1,500 hours of community service.
Harris is scheduled to be taken into custody no earlier than May 19. He is expected to serve only 298 days of his 366-day prison term.
In fulfilling part of the agreement, the 28-year-old Harris has traveled the country speaking to youth groups about the dangers of violence. To date, he has racked up 1,006 hours of service, many of which have been chronicled on MTV’s T.I.’s Road to Redemption: 45 Days to Go, a program that documents the rapper’s outreach efforts as he inches closer to his incarceration.
Despite the public humiliation, many rap enthusiasts contend this incident can only help Harris’ already flourishing career.
“I think that if anything, it will gain him more fans and actually support his fan base, because he’s talked about making a mistake,” said Emil Wilbekin, editor in chief of Giant Magazine, a publication focused on urban music. “He’s talked about taking care of the error of his ways.”
And more fans mean more copies sold of his sixth album, Paper Trail, which has sold more than two million copies since being released. The inevitable increase in record sales will be piggybacked by projects that will still keep Harris in the spotlight during his absence. His label has announced it will create a remix version of Paper Trail to be released this summer, while several videos which Harris is in the process of shooting will be released during his jail term.
Efforts to keep Harris’ name fresh aside, there are those who believe the Grammy Award-winning artist will emerge from jail with even more to offer his throng of adoring patrons.
“His music reflects his experiences,” said Jason Geter, Harris’ business partner and co-owner of Grand Hustle Productions, the rapper’s label. “He makes himself vulnerable, and that’s why people like him so much. And people always love to hear a good drama.”
Rapper Kanye West faces up to two and a half years in prison if convicted of a trio of misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident involving a paparazzo at Los Angeles International Airport last year.
According to reports, West was arrested on September 11 after breaking the camera of a TMZ photographer while making his way through one of the airport’s terminals, upon returning from his performance at the MTV Video Music Awards.
The entire incident was caught on video.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Los Angeles city prosecutors have charged West with vandalism, battery, and grand theft. His manager, Don Crowley, who broke both a still and video camera belonging to TMZ, has been charged with two counts of each misdemeanor.
Crowley faces up to five years in prison.
Both men are scheduled to be arraigned on April 14.
Beverly Hills police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Lindsay Lohan Saturday afternoon, the Associated Press reports.
According to a statement released by the Beverly Hills Police Department Friday evening, the warrant relates to the actress’ 2007 DUI and cocaine charges:
“In response to media inquiries, [the] Beverly Hills Police Department is confirming a warrant was in fact issued today [March 13] for the arrest of Lindsay Lohan. The $50,000 warrant issued by the Beverly Hills Superior Court stems from a May 2007 arrest of Miss Lohan for DUI and hit-and-run. The circumstances leading to the issuance of the warrant by the court are not readily available at this time. It is our hope that Miss Lohan will surrender herself so that this matter will be resolved in a timely manner.”
Lohan’s estranged father, Michael, was quick to express his concern for his daughter’s well-being, which he feels is being threatened by her relationship with lesbian dee-jay Samantha Ronson.
“I feel like when you’re around the right people, you do the right thing, when you’re around the wrong people, you do the wrong thing,” he tells Us Magazine. “Mark my words, as long as Samantha Ronson is in Lindsay’s life, nothing is going to go right!”
It’s been a while since we have been treated to a Pam Anderson peep show, so imagine our surprise when she decided to end her long streak of PG-ratedness by flashing a breast on the catwalk at a recent fashion show in France.
According to the Huffington Post (NSFW), the silicon-chested former bombshell decided to honor British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood with the obligatory nipple slip at the completion of a fall-winter show.
The problem is, when you have mammaries the size of small childern attached to your sternum, a slip of the nipple means the upper three-fourths of your breast feels the need to say hello to the outside world.
Good. Now the next step would be to achieve world-renowned A-list status, and she’s yours.
Us Magazine reports that Fox and boyfriend Brian Austin Green have ended their four-year relationship—and two-year engagement—and the two will remain friends thanks to the amicable separation.
Good public relations will tell you that the two separated with an agreement that career is more important at this time. Realists will agree that Fox’s budding superstardom became too much for the former 90210 Vanilla Ice to handle.
So what’s Fox’s next step? Being tossed around by eligible Hollywood bachelors? A public bi-sexual encounter? Something crazy that falls somewhere in the middle?
Like it really matters. Neither you nor I will be involved.
Finally, we now know where the immortal, self-appointed King of Human Beings Kanye West got his inspiration.
And it has nothing to do with Teen Wolf-inspired shades, lasers, so-called racist white presidents, or dropping out of college.
In an interview that runs in the current issue of Style magazine, the critically acclaimed artist tells of a rather peculiar and almost Freudian childhood experience that would lay the framework that now supports his popularized off-beat style (disclaimer: the following may be offensive to die-hard Nintendo fans and experienced video game programmers):
“First beat I did was in seventh grade, on my computer,” West recalls. “I got into doing beats for the video games I used to try to make. My game was very sexual. The main character was, like, a giant penis. It was like Mario Brothers, but the ghosts were, like, vaginas. Mind you, I’m 12 years old, and this is stuff 30-year-olds are programming. You’d have to draw in and program every little step—it literally took me all night to do a step, ’cause the penis, y’know, had little feet and eyes.”
Can’t fault the guy for being too creative.
Catch some video of the interview.
[Photo Credit: Nathaniel Goldberg]
A year after the Oscars suffered its lowest viewership in five years, Academy strategists are turning to the sports world for a good ol’ fashioned kick in the ass to help jump start relevancy.
A student of Roone Arledge—the noteworthy former ABC producer who is responsible for just about everything you see on a modern day sportscast—Patrick Goldstein has been counted upon to inject a bit of badassness into the geriatric and stale nature of the Academy Awards.
The move has been coined a stroke of genius by some while others prepare for any potential problems by holding their breath.
Producer Larry Mark, via the Los Angeles Times:
“If Roger learned from Roone Arledge, then he learned from a true innovator. He was completely excited about the challenge of doing something new. And we think he’ll make the show more exciting too.”
How much more exciting remains to be seen. But, if nothing else, you can bet Goldstein, a graduate of groundbreaking thought in sports entertainment, will make good on some innovative changes.
Refer to him as a role model for a lost generation. Call him a best-selling author. Tell him his success has been bred by his curious and mindless audience.
Whatever you do, don’t label him an asshole—that’s exactly what he wants.
If you don’t know who Tucker Max is, you may never know, unless you summon the bravery necessary to review his legendary tales of debauchery and disregard for humanity.
Max is a 33-year-old frat-boy lifer with a law degree from Duke, but that’s where the oxymorons end. When he’s awake, any intelligence that lies latent in his subconscious is pushed aside by an immaturity and brashness that have been a theme in each of his notorious tales, all of which are prominently laid out at his personal site.
And he looks exactly how he acts. Hardly an adonnis, this maladjusted and self-trained womanizer has capitalized on the idea that women with shortages of self-esteem can’t resist a cocky prick.
So much so that he has enough anecdotes to fill an entire book. I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell became an instant New York Times best-seller when it was released in 2006, and the profits haven’t let up, as the book has earned the paper’s prestigious stamp each of the last three years as well.
With the previously unfathomable success of his drunken sex diaries now a reality, the opportunistic Max is now driving to turn his self-deprecating nature into a full-blown brand. His best-selling collection of memoirs is set to become a film adaptation released later this year, and a follow-up book is expected to hit shelves this fall.
The title? Assholes Finish First.
F-Listed has more with a insightful Q & A session with Max.
We guess Audrina Patridge has gotten so famous that she feels the need to mic herself regardless of where she goes. Either that, or MTV planted the audio cable in the circumference of her areola when she had the Spalding warehouse volleyballed to her breastplate.
We’ll rule out a taping of The Hills, since watered down Coronas don’t fit in with the reality soap opera’s club scene of vodka tonics. So, perhaps Patridge is following up the success of Into the Blue 2 by auditioning her ta-tas for an upcoming spinoff destined to fit that 9:30 p.m. ET slot on VH1, smack dab between Rock of Love: Nursing Home of Non-Nubile Whores and Dead on the Outside, starring Mickey Rourke.
Or, as a third possibility, it could just be the arrogance that comes with getting paid $665,000 to do nothing.
[Photos courtesy of the awesome brahs at Brahsome]
The Subject: Sarah Larson
The Reason: Desperate for attention while rapidly losing celebrity status nine months after being dumped by George Clooney.
The Explanation: Complete oblivion to the fact commoners can also afford snazzy cameras.
The Aftermath: Get your D-list qualifications verified by hosts who don’t feel the need to whore up their Sundance Film Festival gift suites.
The Next Step: Utterly ruin the Chicago Bears’ defense by turning linebacker Brian Urlacher’s brain to mush and single-handedly inverting his penis.