T.I.’s homecoming weekend almost sent him back to the big house. No more than seven days free, the Atlanta rapper decided to take part in the annual Black fish fry known as the BET Hip-Hop Awards as the event descended on Atlanta and he attended a welcome home party/Awards afterparty at The Compound. Not the best idea but not the worst either. If I were locked up, I imagine I’d want to hit the club and cut loose when I got free, too.
Yet, the footage below proves the situation could have been much more volatile. In the clip, we see a probably drunk Diddy accosting a crowd member for drinking a liquor other than Ciroc and then dousing the crowd as a whole. Since I think he’s an asshole, I don’t put anything past Puff but the fact he’s still trying to test someone in a club setting is borderline ignorance. With drinks flowing, egos charged up to the max and bitches around choosing whoever they think is the most important aggin in the club, standing there with your chest puffed out and constantly asking the next man “what you gone do?” can oftentimes lead to bad results.
Tip does step in, checks Puffy and shares that he’ll “get the f*ck on up out this bitch and let y’all have it.” Noble but still dumb. The club looks slammed and chances are there’s another felon in the crowd which would probably violate terms of T.I.’s parole. Then again, anywhere he goes would violate him since rappers periodically hang out with bad guys.
Apparently, WorldStarHipHop hosted another welcome home party held in the rapper’s honor because he’s a well-liked guy. Clifford partied, performed and left without incident but a brawl later broke out, which you can view below. One unlucky guy gets his new, club outfit messy after being drug across the floor. Imagine some f*ckshit happening at a party hosted by WSHH.
Neither one of these clips do much to prove T.I. spent much time thinking during the long jail nights. As much as he claims to love his kids, hanging off the rails of a crunk nightclub doesn’t scream wisdom. No one will advocate for Tip to retreat into a recluse state. Rappers must remain visible or they stand to lose their cred. In particular, T.I.’s roots are in Atlanta’s traps, juke joints and strip clubs where they serve great chicken wings. If all else fails, he can always do appearances at these holes in the wall or any part of Georgia and make a few stacks. How do you think Young Dro has stayed out of bankruptcy? But Tip isn’t Dro or any other C-level rapper. He’s one of music’s stars, a label owner and an actor as well as a dad, father and husband.
All in all, it’s all eerily similar to watching Mike Vick when he first came home from prison. Remember a similar coming home event held in Vick’s honor that reportedly got tense and one man was shot afterward? Heard many mentions of Vick partying since? Exactly. Hailing from Newport News aka Bad News, VA, Vick’s as hood as they come but even he was wise enough to weigh potential loss vs. gain and the perils of the nightlife. Instead of trying to keep his cred, Vick’s trying to keep it gainfully employed, rich and easing his way back onto corporate America’s payroll. No offseason missteps or post-game partying and you rarely see him making the photo recaps for psuedo red carpet events. Nope, the only time he’s seen is on the field or behind a podium during post-game conference.
Tip would be well advised to adopt a similar strategy. Stay home, stay out of the way. Make the few mandatory appearances for radio spots, Akoo in-stores and only controlled, secure situations. But the club should be off limits. As a 31-year-old breadwinner and felon, the makeup of the nightlife doesn’t bode well. If he hadn’t left the Esso party before the brawl, today’s headlines would be different and completely negative. Same for the Compound party had one offended patron bucked at Puff and all hell broke loose. Given the high odds, a wiser man would avoid those situations.
In fact, just stay away from Puffy. Rappers die when they’re around that dude.