Show Must Go On for T.I.
Mon, 08 May 2006 08:32:32
A week after his personal assistant was killed during a freeway shootout, rapper T.I. is returning to the road, sweeping into New Orleans to pick up with his national tour. A date that was cancelled in the meantime -- in St. Louis -- is expected to be rescheduled. In the days following the shooting, a grief-stricken T.I. had considered pulling the plug on the tour. Now, even after his record company has made the announcement about the New Orleans show, scheduled for tomorrow night (May 9), the rapper still seems uncertain of whether he can make the show happen without his right-hand man.
Details about the cause of the shooting remain vague, and the suspects were long gone by the time police arrived on the scene. What is known is that some sort of confrontation at an after-hours club in Cincinnati led to T.I. and his entourage ducking out of the club, then being pursued on to a nearby interstate. Gunshots were exchanged, and three members of the entourage were hit and hospitalized. Philant Johnson, T.I.’s 26-year-old personal assistant, was killed. T.I. himself was unharmed.
T.I. protégé Yung Joc, who was present during the shooting, went on an Atlanta radio station to say that T.I. had attempted to break up the dispute, and was not responsible in any way for the violent episode that led to another hip-hop death.
T.I. is expected to speak at Johnson’s funeral today (May 8). The two were friends from childhood.
“Success isn’t measured in money,” he told a reporter. “It’s measured in happiness. Peace. And I ain’t at peace right now. And I ain’t happy. My partner’s gone.”
--The ARTISTdirect Staff