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At 25, I had a banging body!  My skinny self and my woman self finally caught up with each other!  In a nutshell…I LOOKED GOOD!!!  It was the 90’s, spandex was in, and women wearing catsuits to the club was the look: some wore it well; some…”ain’t got no friends!” (Sorry about the poor vernacular, but another description would have cheated you out of the illustration, LOL!)  Basically, even with the best body I had finally acquired (6 pack and all) there comes a time where you have to refrain from buying and wearing certain types of clothing.  You grow up and realize that you can look sexy without letting it all hang out for the world to see.  So what does my tight, curvaceous 25 year old body have to do with my over 45 comments on T.I.?

I watch T.I.’s reality series T.I. and Tiny: The Family HustleUnknown.  I love his interaction with his wife and children; his family and friends.  With all his struggles he seemingly has come out on top.  His acting career is burgeoning.  His clothing line is growing.  He has gotten it together.  However like many artists T.I. is challenged in one area: rapping about streets at 32.  I saw his short film entitled “Trap Back Jumpin’ ” where he is recounting a story about hustling in the Bankhead section of Atlanta.  His grandfather’s house is used in the short film as a backdrop; even his grandfather gets a small speaking role.  Essentially there’s something strange about a mature father and husband jumping around with the boys in the hood celebrating street life – way after he has arrived.

In other words there comes a time when boys have to put up there toys – T.I.’s character Rashad in the movie “ATL” does this poignantly at the movie’s end.  I believe this is the rub.  The so-called Black community catches utter hell for moving forward.  More than once, whether verbatim or figuratively “don’t forget where you came from” is the hollowed statement that has African American children fearful of doing well in school as to not be accused of “acting White.”  Ever hear the phrase “one foot in the streets and one foot in the suburbs?”  This is the crossroad where T.I. stands. Though the persona sells units, they’ll come a time where 35…40…will be upon him.  I am hopeful his acting career will soar.  But in the meantime I guess the trap house has him locked.  I just pray he doesn’t get caught up.

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