Convicted rapper T.I. gets to vote despite the rap

Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:25pm EDT
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ATLANTA (Reuters) - This time last year things were not looking good for Grammy-award winning rapper T.I.

The 28-year-old was facing three federal weapons charges, each of which carried a possible 10-year sentence if convicted and his career appeared to be in ruins.

But things have been looking up for T.I., the Atlanta native who was born Clifford Harris. The court postponed his sentence for a year and said that if he completed 1,000 hours of community service he would receive just one year in jail.

His latest album, Paper Trail, went to No. 1 this month on the U.S. pop chart -- his third number one album in a row.

And this week, to his surprise, he even got to vote.

The multi-platinum selling star, who has spent much of the year talking to young people about the dangers of guns and drugs, has also urged young people to register.

He had assumed his own conviction would prevent him from voting. However, he did some research and found he was in fact eligible.

"Feels like I've taken advantage of my right to become a part of the democracy," he said after casting a ballot in Georgia, a state that allows early voting.

"It was definitely worth standing in line and doing all the things people complain about voting. I think it's more than worth it," he said.

(Writing by Matthew Bigg; editing by Tom Brown)