T.I. looks to regain career appeal, avoid trouble

By Jonathan Landrum Jr.

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 19 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

Through his novel, T.I. said he wants to motivate youths to read more, the same way Sista Souljah inspired him through her best-selling book "The Coldest Winter Ever."

"I want to give them something to be excited about, be entertained and have fun," he said. "That will make them go out and find other books that they can read because they enjoyed it so much."

T.I. is also still taping for his TV show, "Family Hustle," which is expected to air on VH1 in early December. He said the show will track him and how he conducts his household after his return home. It will also include his stepdaughter, a member of the pop trio OMG Girlz; a son that want to rap; his two sons who play football; and another son who is looking to write a children's book.

"Everybody is trying to find their niche, and I'm the example," he said. "I'm the godfather if you will. If you was in the Corleone family and wanted to be a mobster, you had to see the boss. So everyone comes to me about what they want to do."

T.I. is also working on his clothing line, Akoo, and helping on the script for a sequel to "Takers," the urban crime drama that debuted at No. 1 while he was behind bars. He also wants to breathe new life into his rap career: The rapper says he fills a void in hip-hop that no one else can, but his last album "No Mercy," released when he was in prison, put up subpar numbers compared to his prior releases and didn't produce any No. 1 hits.

Still, there are those who believe the so-called King of the South can reign once again.

"He's definitely more mature," DJ Trauma said. "I think he's more conservative than before with more focus. Musically, he built himself from the ground up, and knows what the people want. ... What he brings to the game is needed."



Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mrlandrum31

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