Debuting as the number one movie at the box office, the action packed thriller, Takers, tells the story of a posse of six men that plan, and nearly pull off the ultimate heist of robbing an armored truck. The man that everyone loves to hate in the movie, also known as “Ghost,” is played by none other than southern rapper T.I. (government name Clifford Harris, Jr.). Newly released from prison, the smooth talking Ghost reunites himself with the other takers Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba), A.J. (Hayden Christensen), brothers Jessie and Jake Attica (Chris Brown and Michael Ealy) and John Rahway (Paul Walker). He persuades them into taking on the job of robbing an armored truck with him. While the other characters are under the impression that $250,000 of the money they collect from the robbery will be going to members of the Russian Mafia that supplied Ghost with the route of the armored truck when he was in prison, it is not known to them that Ghost is secretly plotting to run off with half the money, and have them all blown to smithereens by his Russian friends. The movie is full of many twists and turns that are sure to keep movie goers anticipating what happens next.
While all of the movies casts members did wonderful jobs executing their roles, it is rapper T.I. (who also helped produce the film) that is receiving the most praise for his performance in the movie. After seeing the movie twice myself, I can’t help but think that the reason T.I. did so great a job with his role, is because the character of Ghost is not very different from his everyday persona. Ghost who had just finished a six year sentence for his part in robbing a jewelry store in 2004 thought he would be smart enough, just five days after getting out of jail, to successfully rob an armored truck. Although he succeeded in bringing down the truck and almost got away with the money, in the end it all caught up with him when he was gunned down by another one of the takers. In comparison, rapper T.I. was sentenced to one day and one year in federal prison, after pleading guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a gun by a felon charges in 2008. The rapper/actor was released from prison in December of 2009 and transported to a Georgia halfway house where he carried out the rest of his sentence; he left the halfway house in March of 2010. Now, six months later is when the parallels between fiction and real life start to take place. Just like his character of Ghost, it appears that T.I. thinks he can outsmart the law. On September 1, 2010, he and his wife of almost 2 months were arrested for suspicion of possessing methamphetamine. The pills were later confirmed to be ecstasy.
As were many other T.I. fans, I was quite disappointed when I heard that he had managed to get himself in trouble once again. The first thing that popped into my mind was how before going to prison in 2009, T.I. went on a nationwide campaign speaking to young children and troubled youth about doing the right thing by staying out of trouble. I kept thinking, “How can he expect those children and teens to do the right thing and take his advice, when he is doing the same thing himself? Furthermore, he has his own children, so how do you explain to them that once again that Daddy may be (as he very well may be) going to jail.” It was a conversation with my mother that put things in perspective for me, however. Yes T.I. is a rapper and entertainer, but that does not necessarily make him a role model. He is not invincible, he is not perfect, and we all make mistakes. Although he may be the self proclaimed “King of the South,” T.I. is not of royal decent and should not be glorified as such. I will continue to be a fan of T.I. and can only hope that he will learn his lesson and begin to do the right things. However, I will not forget that he is a man, and just like everyone else there will be times that he messes up. He has managed to make a successful comeback and hopefully his latest legal woes will not interfere with his Takers success. I do however hope that he can truly learn from this arrest and get back on the right track