T.I., whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr., was born in Riverdale, Georgia and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.

T.I. is a Christian, a Southern Baptist to be exact. He regularly attends the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. While he doesn’t express his devotion much outside of his music, T.I. seems to be quite devout. He even convinced an Atlanta judge to lift his house arrest temporarily so he could go to church1 and has addressed a congregation of over 40,000 at his church at least once.2 Rumor has it, T.I. may be considering becoming a preacher.3

T.I. rhyme’s are filled with Christian themes. For example:

Yeah I hope the picture painted clear/If your heart filled with faith you can’t fear/Wonder how I face years and I’m still chillin’?/Easy, let go and let God deal with it.4

Southern Politics

T.I., unlike some of his peers, has expressed some confidence in the political system and the democratic process, while acknowledging that it’s up to the people to make it work. He said:

It is very important that we accept responsibility as leaders in this country. And the sooner we do that, the sooner we will see this country’s ways represent us. Right now, we might look at politics and say, ‘well, you know, politics don’t really represent me.’ That’s because there’s not enough of us involved. The more of us that get involved, the more this country’s ways will represent us.5

However, T.I. certainly distrusts the current power structure and has expressed skepticism regarding the death of Osama bin Ladin, saying:

I’m a conspiracy theorist by nature. You can’t experience the federal penal system and not be somewhat skeptical.6

Regarding who T.I. would give his vote, it’s probably to the Democrats. T.I. has expressed support for President Obama, particularly regarding Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage,7 but seems to do so, not so much as a liberal who thinks gays should be able to get married, but rather as a libertarian who believes in personal freedom–personal freedom to get married as a gay couple or personal freedom to disagree with gay people getting married. He said:

[Gay people seem to have the attitude of] ‘If you have an opinion against us, we’re gonna shut you down.’ … That’s not American. If you’re gay you should have the right to be gay in peace, and if you’re against it you should have the right to be against it in peace.8

How refreshingly consistent.

  1. RUMOR: Rapper T.I. Studying to Become a Preacher? Media Take Out. []
  2. Rapper T.I. attends Eddie Long’s New Birth Baptist Church Holds Easter Service For Nearly 40,000 in Georgia Dome. Hophossip Globemusic. []
  3. RUMOR: Rapper T.I. Studying to Become a Preacher? Media Take Out. []
  4. T.I. – No Matter What Lyrics. Metro Lyrics. []
  5. T.I. talks politics. YouTube. []
  6. T.I. Interviews With Vibe: Talks World Politics + Criminal Charges. Copthat. []
  7. T.I Supports President Obama’s Stance On Same-Sex Marriage. Complex. []
  8. T.I. Interviews With Vibe: Talks World Politics + Criminal Charges. Copthat. []