T.I.'s Road to Redemption
|T.I.'s Road to Redemption|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Running time||42 to 44 minutes|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||February 10, 2009– April 7, 2009|
|Followed by||T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle|
T.I.'s Road To Redemption is an American reality television show that premiered on February 10, 2009, on MTV. The show is produced by T.I., Michael Hirschorn, Stella Stolper and Chris Choun of Ish Entertainment. The series focuses on the 45 days before rapper T.I.'s March sentencing, hoping to encourage teenagers to avoid spending a life of crime. He will be trying to show seven teenagers that there is "another way". In T.I.'s Road to Redemption, T.I. will be sharing the mistakes he has made in the past and the lessons he has learned from them to teenagers across the United States. The show includes events in his personal life such as the birth of his sixth son and the September release of his latest album, Paper Trail.
In 2007, T.I. was convicted of two felony gun charges—caught attempting to purchase guns outside a shopping center—and will begin serving a sentence of one year and one day behind bars starting March 27, 2009. He also must serve 1500 hours of community service. The series started filming in June 2008 and will continue until March 2009.
"We visited T.I. early in 2008 while he was under house arrest in Georgia and found a man utterly unlike his rap persona," Ish Entertainment principals Stella Stolper and Michael Hirschorn said in a statement. "He felt that he was undergoing a karmic reckoning, a time when he would have to balance the scales of his life and integrate who he was with who he is. We've never seen someone so introspective, so smart about how who he was back in the slums of Atlanta is affecting who he is now."
As the 45 days lessen, the title of the show will change depending on how many weeks are remaining before T.I.'s sentencing (i.e. T.I.'s Road to Redemption: 38 Days to Go, T.I.'s Road to Redemption: 31 Days to Go, T.I.'s Road to Redemption: 1 Day to Go etc.).
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"45 Days to Go: You Are Responsible for Your Own Actions"||February 10, 2009|
|In this episode of T.I.'s Road to Redemption, we hear from T.I. as his March 2009 sentencing draws near. He tells us the story of how his life unfolded and lets us along as he tries to use his own experiences to change the course of one young man's life. He first takes us back to a night in 2006 when he was on tour for the release of his new album, when a member of his entourage was shot while he was in the car after a club scuffle. Then it is on to happier times thanks to a plea agreement he reached with the government. We tag along with T.I. at the birthday party of his son King. During his short visit at home, we meet his six young children and fiance, Tameka. As his son blows out his candles, T.I. holds his children close, he explains the importance of him doing what he has to do to provide for the family. This type of responsibility for his family has been a burden since he was a child where he grew up as the man of the house while his father was in New York. He explains how his life took a turn for the worse one day on his way to buy bread where a crack dealer showed him the dividends that dealing can pay. This is when we meet one of the seven young people who T.I. has decided to personally try to change as a part of his plea agreement. Pee Wee, an 18-year-old from Atlanta dropped out of school and like T.I. was the man of his household from when he was a young boy. He has since picked up a life of hustling to make a profit for his family. When we first meet Pee Wee, he thinks he is being interviewed for an MTV show about hustling. That is until T.I. walks into his living room. T.I. gets right to work as he takes him to a police station and has him fake arrested and put in jail. As he is thrown behind bars to stare into the empty room, T.I. leaves him with a pile of books to check out. When T.I. comes back to pick him up, he feels like he needs to intensify the situation to really reach Pee Wee, which lands them at a local mortuary. As Pee Wee avoids eye contact with the dead bodies being prepared, he meets the mortician who explains the one young man in a coffin was a hustler. As T.I. puts his arm around Pee Wee he makes him walk right up to the casket and stare at the young man who no longer has a chance to live. Visibly shaken, Pee Wee leaves the mortuary and heads home with T.I., where he asks Pee Wee what his dream profession is. Once he tells T.I. his interest in becoming an actor, T.I. gets right to work. He takes the Shakespearean script of Romeo and Juliet and recites the lines back and forth with Pee Wee to show him the importance of being educated in acting. After being touched by the day's events, Pee Wee agrees that he is going to clean up his act. Three weeks later T.I. leaves him a letter that says he is going to get acting classes in California with a private coach and gets to perform with T.I. in LA. The episode concludes with the news that Pee Wee has stopped hustling and is still taking classes in Santa Monica, California with hopes to audition for comedy in March 2009. He and T.I. will be performing together in December In a later follow-up episode, it was revealed that Pee Wee got shot in both his left and right arm. Pee Wee would not speak of the shooting because it was confidential.|
|2||"38 Days to Go: Own Your Mistakes"||February 17, 2009|
|Meet Trey, a 15-year-old Georgia native who has gotten himself involved in a little clique that they like to call themselves the "Block Boys." People typically think Newnan, Georgia is a safe place to live, however shootings and violence are on the rise. Trey's mother is understandably very worried about the welfare of her son. Both Trey's father and older brother are in jail. Trey has witnessed his older brother saving his mother from a knife that his father had put up to her throat. T.I. understands that these traumatic events are quite a lot to process at such a young age. These circumstances quite often lead kids to join gangs. While Trey was being interviewed for what he thought was an MTV show about gang life, T.I. walked in the most unexpected place... Trey's crib. T.I. made a deal with Trey, he'll take some of his advice if he'll take some of his. In T.I.'s car, T.I. asks if Trey knows where he's at. Trey doesn't know, but it's clear he's in T.I.'s neck of the woods. The first stop is a cemetery where some of T.I.'s friends have been laid to rest. T.I. tells Trey the story of Philant Johnson, who was T.I.'s childhood friend and assistant, who was killed following a fight at an Ohio nightclub. Looking at Philant's grave, T.I. explains to Trey that this the way things can go for him. Despite T.I.'s lesson, Trey believes everyone's fate is sealed so there's no point in living for tomorrow. The next stop is where T.I. grew up in Atlanta. T.I. introduces Trey to Quint, his uncle who spent 10 years in prison. Quint was immediately shocked by Trey's attitude towards fighting. Quint cut to the chase and put it this way, Trey has two options: or go to prison. Trey began to tear up when Quint broke it down to him. Luckily, T.I. has heard good reports from Trey's mom since his last visit. T.I. decides to reward Trey with a special trip to Washington D.C., the day before President Obama's Inauguration as a special guest at the Hip Hop Inaugural Ball where T.I. is receiving an award. T.I. introduces Trey to hip hop icons such as LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, MC Lyte and more. When T.I. receives the award at the ball, T.I. makes a shout out to Trey and even explains Trey's story to the audience. Since the trip to Washington D.C., Trey has brought up all of his grades and hopes to be the first man from his family to go to college.|
|3||"31 Days to Go: Your Environment Does Not Define You"||February 24, 2009|
|Meet 18-year-old Anthony of California, who has been involved with the Harbor City Crips since he was 13. He was caught with a gun in 2004 and sentenced to juvenile detention and probation, but was unscathed by the experience. T.I. explains the severity of Anthony's situation because his gangbanging ways come from generations of family involvement. His mother's husband is a high-ranking Crips member which highlights what T.I. considers a shortage of positive influences in Anthony's life. Thinking he is being interviewed for an MTV show about gang life, Anthony explains that he's not ready to stop the lifestyle just yet. We meet his girlfriend Vanessa, who wants Anthony to quit the lifestyle because she is pregnant with his child. This, is when T.I.'s four step program gets under way. The first step, the surprise, starts when T.I. finds his way into Anthony's kitchen during the middle of his gang interview with an MTV reporter. Step 2, reality, starts soon afterwards with a trip to the Nickerson projects where Anthony meets Mario, a gangbanger who is now in a wheelchair because he was shot in the back. T.I. thinks that while Mario affected Anthony, it still wasn't enough. Next step is "the future...if you don't change." For Anthony, this means a trip to prison to meet Big U, a high-ranking member of the Crips. Big U explains the dangers of jail life, especially for Anthony who has a mixed racial background. Inspired by seeing someone who made it out of jail, Anthony explains he attended culinary school in the past and hopes to be a chef one day. This is where T.I.'s final step comes into the picture which is to "inspire change". T.I. lets Anthony get a taste of success in the kitchen when he takes him to Reservoir, a restaurant that is opening soon in LA. Here he gets the chance to prepare a gourmet meal for himself and T.I., with a little help from Gloria, the restaurant's chef. The meal was a hit and T.I. was not only impressed with the product but also Anthony's attentiveness to the task. With a newfound confidence and interest in cooking, Anthony proclaimed he was ready to change his life. T.I. had one more surprise in store for Anthony's new attitude when he got him two huge boxes of cooking utensils. Anthony has put them to good use as he enrolled in culinary school and is staying off the streets. He is currently a prep chef at an upscale LA eatery.|
|4||"24 Days to Go: You Have to Focus on the Positive"||March 3, 2009|
|T.I. heads to Atlanta to help Edwin, a struggling young father, who is at risk of breaking his family apart by committing burglaries and getting himself arrested. Leigh Ann, Edwin's girlfriend, is terrified that Edwin's crimes will send him prison and leave her alone to raise their one year old son, by herself. T.I. shows Edwin a homeless shelter, where Edwin and his girlfriend will end up if he violates his probation. Then, he shows him a single mother, who said that the baby father is sent to jail, leaving herself alone to raise the child. After the day's events, they went to a college football game. After a hard lesson, Edwin does not burglarize anymore. T.I. gave him a huge surprise, three $250 gift cards to the local grocery store to lighten the family's financial burden. Edwin has earned his GED and now pursuing an internship at T.I.'s Grand Hustle Records.|
|5||"17 Days to Go: Reality Is Not Entertainment"||March 10, 2009|
|Nothing makes T.I. more upset than meeting a young person who hasn't learned anything from the all the mistakes he has made. Mario, an 18-year-old gang member from Compton, CA, has chosen to make many of the same mistakes T.I. made, including buying machine guns. Like T.I., Mario's best friend was shot earlier in December. T.I.'s personal assistant and friend Philant Johnson got killed in 2006. With Mario, T.I. will take his intervention style to a whole new level, including giving him a ride that just might save his life. He took him on an ambulance ride for a paramedic to explain to him what a bullet might do to a person. He then introduces Mario to a high-ranking (rival) gang member who has been shot and hospitalized. Next, T.I. took him to see young boys that have been affected by bullets, changing their whole entire lives. T.I. took Mario to a boxing gym, introducing him to boxing to lead his anger out in a positive way.|
|6||"11 Days to Go: Revenge Is Not the Answer"||March 17, 2009|
|Donald is an 18-year-old student who has had a rough life but has stayed positive. T.I. respects Donald for keeping his head up through the hard times and wants to show Donald how he will be rewarded if he stays on the right path. T.I. surprises Donald at home and tells him to get ready to be a king for the day. Donald gets a "Hollywood cut" from a celebrity barber and then tries on some new clothes from T.I.'s AKOO line. Donald can't choose between the three outfits so T.I. surprises him again and tells him he can take home everything he tried on. T.I. takes Donald out for dinner that's fit for a king but then takes a serious turn when he tells Donald about his current legal situation. T.I. tells Donald that one mistake can take you back to square one and to stay driven. To Donald's surprise, T.I. pays for a recording session with music producer Polow Da Don. At first Donald is just playing around in the studio so T.I. tells him to get serious and write some lyrics. Two hours later, T.I. hands Donald a copy of Donald's original song as a gift. Donald leaves T.I. after a day of being a king and shares his new song with his family. Donald continues to get straight A's in school and is working to pursue his music career and go to college.|
|7||"11 Days to Go: You Quit, You Lose"||March 17, 2009|
|On this week's T.I.'s Road to Redemption we meet Cynthia who is struggling after witnessing her gang-banger brother get shot and killed. At the age of 13, Cynthia joined a gang with the intent of taking revenge for her brother's death. Even though it's not about revenge anymore, Cynthia doesn't think she'll ever leave the game. Cynthia's mother has already lost one child and doesn't want to lose another. Cynthia, now 15 years old, has grown apart from her mother since her mother disapproves of her gang involvement. T.I. listens to Cynthia's story but steps in when she says that she's staying in the game because it's fun. T.I. takes Cynthia to a funeral home to show her what her mother would have to go through if anything happened to Cynthia. Next, T.I. takes Cynthia to Homeboy Industries which is a refuge for ex-gang members in Los Angeles. First three women talk to Cynthia about how she needs to get out of the game because it's no way to live. Cynthia starts to grasp a better sense of her reality when she meets ex-gang member Alex. To help Cynthia get inspired about changing her life, T.I. brings her to a photo shoot to give her a taste of what it's like to be a photographer. Cynthia leaves T.I. promising that she needs to get out of the game and turn her life around. Later, Cynthia receives a new computer and a digital camera from T.I. to keep her motivated to pursue her dream of photography.|
|8||"4 Days to Go"||March 24, 2009|
|T.I. is slowing down to the end of his Road To Redemption with only a few days left before incarceration. T.I. has helped so many teens in the past few weeks but now it's time to focus on one last case- himself. T.I. talks about his downward spiral into a life of drugs, money, and jail. Eventually, T.I. was caught in a parking lot trying to buy machine guns and silencers. In order to redeem himself, T.I. met with 7 teens on the same wrong path he was on as a kid. First we met Pee Wee, then Trey, and then there's aspiring chef Anthony. Donald was rewarded for pulling through despite a tough life and Cynthia grew closer to her mother. Mario and Edwin have also stayed off the streets. Pee Wee was on the right path after meeting with T.I. but then things went wrong when he backed out of joining T.I. at the presidential inauguration. Pee Wee couldn't go because he was shot in both of his arms in a shooting. Pee Wee survived and now T.I.'s message has really hit home. As T.I. finishes the last few hours of his community service, he tries to make an impact on as many lives as he can. With less than one week until his sentencing, T.I. makes a final appearance in New York to promote the biggest album of his career. T.I. is the last person in his family to drop out of school and he makes sure that all of his cousins stay on track. Since T.I. doesn't want his children to see him in prison, he has focused a lot of his energy in being a good father until he has to leave. T.I. also spends time with his fiancée Tameka who promises to stand by T.I. to keep their family together.|
|9||"The Reckoning"||April 7, 2009|
|Sway Calloway sits down with T.I. to reflect on how the series effected him. Later, T.I. reunites with the teens he mentored.|
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- Steven Roberts (2009-01-15). "T.I.'s 'Road To Redemption' Seems To Avoid Reality–TV Cliches". MTV (MTV News). Retrieved 2009-01-18.
- "MTV Premieres "T.I.'s Road To Redemption"". Hip Hop DX. Retrieved 2009-01-18.