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T.I. leaves US prison early with TV, book deals

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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta-based rapper T.I. was released Wednesday

one month early from a federal prison in Arkansas where he was

serving time for a probation violation, and he already has a new

book deal and TV reality show waiting for him.

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The artist, whose real name is Clifford Harris, was released

Wednesday morning from the Forrest City low-security prison, said

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke. His attorney said T.I. is

headed to a halfway house in Georgia to serve out the rest of his

sentence.

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“The storm is over & da sun back out. IT’S OUR TIME TO SHINE

SHAWTY!!!!!” the rapper posted on Twitter shortly after his

release. “Welcome to the beginning of our Happy

Ending!!!!”

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T.I. had initially served about seven months at the prison in 2009

after he was arrested for trying to buy unregistered guns and

silencers from undercover federal agents. He was on probation after

he was released and ordered not to commit another crime or to

illegally possess any controlled substances.

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He was arrested again in September 2010 in Los Angeles on drug

charges after authorities said he was found with four ecstasy

pills. He was sentenced in October to 11 months in prison for that

violation, and had been set for release at the end of

September.

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It appears a flock of cameras will follow T.I. regardless of where

he goes next. VH1 said Wednesday that the network will film T.I.’s

journey home from jail and debut the show in December. MTV aired a

similar reality show on the rapper in 2009 called “T.I.’s Road to

Redemption: 45 Days to Go,” which chronicled his attempts to help

others avoid his mistakes.

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T.I. has also finalized a book deal. A representative from

HarperCollins told The Associated Press that T.I. has written a

book called “Power & Beauty” that’s set to be released in

October. The novel, which was co-written with David Ritz, is a

fictional tale about two childhood friends torn apart by dangerous

dealings on the streets of Atlanta.

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The arrest on weapons charges came after Harris’ best friend was

killed following a post-performance party in Cincinnati in 2006.

The rapper has said the bullets that killed his friend were meant

for him.

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When he was released from that sentence, he was required to perform

1,000 hours of community service, which he spent mostly talking

with schoolchildren about the dangers of drugs, gangs and

violence.

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But a federal judge said that “experiment” failed when Los Angeles

deputies found four ecstasy pills on the rapper.

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Bluestein can be reached at 

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“-blank”>http://www.twitter.com/bluestein . Associated Press

writers Nomaan Merchant in Little Rock, Ark., Mesfin Fekadu in New

York and Jonathan Landrum Jr. in Atlanta contributed to this

report.

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