Rap artist T.I. entered a minimum security federal prison in Arkansas on Tuesday (5/26) to begin serving a 366 day sentence on federal gun charges.
We learned through interviews that T.I., who is commonly referred to as "Tip" by family and close friends, didn't want anyone visiting him while he does his time in prison.
According to friend Bobby Ray as told to the Atlanta tabloid Creative Loafing:
“He doesn’t want anyone to see him in prison. I thought about it, I was definitely going to come by a lot. But he doesn’t even want his kids to see him there. He doesn’t want that image implanted in their heads, of him being in jail. I can kind of understand that.” [link]
But three weeks into his 52-week stretch, T.I. couldn't bare not seeing his baby, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, one more day.
Although T.I. talks on the phone with his children regularly (the smallest ones think he's away at school), he reportedly told Tiny that he missed her terribly.
So yesterday, Tiny and a friend caught a flight to Arkansas where she visited with her man for the first time since his incarceration. The friend wasn't allowed in to visit T.I. because her name wasn't on the approved visitor's list.
Which brings us to those letters you mailed T.I. that were returned unopened. I learned yesterday through a source close to Tiny that unless your name is on an approved list, your mail will not be forwarded to T.I. My bad for not knowing that before I wrote my post giving you his address.
As you know, Tiny and Lil Wayne's ex-wife, Antonia Carter, are set to star in their own reality show which will air later this month on BET. The show will focus mainly on family and Tiny's plans to keep herself busy (and prosperous) while T.I. is incarcerated.
According to an inside source, Tiny's salon -- the one you've read so much about on the blogs, is close to opening officially, but there's still much work to be done. Despite the fact that you will see the salon on her reality show, it isn't open yet.
But the big news is that Tiny is putting the finishing touches on an as yet unnamed girl group whose members will include Tiny's daughter Zonnique Pullins (affectionately known as "Meek"), Lil Wayne's daughter Reginae Carter, 9, and two sisters -- one of whom is the daughter of Silk member Jonathen "John-John" Rasboro.
I'll let you in on a little drama that occurred on the set of the reality show: John's daughter asked him to attend her audition for the group, but John, who has another family, disappointed her by refusing to show up. I hear the little girl was in tears.
In another touching scene, Tiny's mom Dianne Cottle-Pope and her dad Charles Pope renewed their wedding vows. Mr. Pope founded the group The Tams.
Tiny, who produced much of the background vocals you heard on the Xscape recordings, is busy writing age-appropriate music for the girls with her former band member Kiesha Miles. I'll post the group's pic as soon as one becomes available. Some of you may remember that Zonnique was in another group called QT-Possie a few years back. The other member of QT-Possie, Jasmine, is helping with the group's choreography.
Tiny is due to visit T.I. again today before she returns to Atlanta tonight.
I just spoke with a source close to Temeka, who is still in Arkansas visiting T.I. in prison. Tameka said to tell my readers that "anybody can write to Tip." She said there is no pre-approved mailing list. So get your write on! And make sure you put that you're a member of Sandrarose.com in your letter so he'll know to write you back!