Friday, October 19, 2007

Industry heavyweights turn out for T.I. hearing

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2007 at 8:41 PM

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The vibe outside the courtroom in the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and Courthouse went from hopeful to depressed shortly after noon Friday when the doors to T.I.'s arraignment/bond hearing opened for a second time and a slew of industry heavyweights, the rapper's closest family members and media exited without Clifford "T.I." Harris Jr.

According to the AJC, his request for bond was denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman after T.I. entered a not-guilty plea, but T.I.'s defense team will have another chance to argue for bond next Friday.

"I haven't decided on releasing him yet," Baverman said, "I just haven't heard the conditions yet and I'm not satisfied."

The conditions offered by his defense team included 24/7 house arrest with electronic and human monitoring, plus "a $2.2 million bond, along with separate bonds backed by his record company, record company executives and the equity of his two homes," according to the AJC. You can read the full story here.

The number of industry heavyweights inside the courtroom indicated how valuable an entity T.I. is to the music world.

Not only was executive vice president of Warner Music Group Kevin Liles present, but Lyles' boss, Warner Music Group CEO Lyor Cohen, was also on hand for the hearing. Other supporters inside the courtroom included T.I.'s local SunTrust banker Rasheed Muhammad; his longtime Grand Hustle business partners/friends J. Geter and Hannah Kang; industry cornerstone and father of Jermaine Dupri Michael Mauldin; and Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy.

His girlfriend and the mother of his youngest son, former Xscape singer Tameka "Tiny" Cottle — who has been released since being arrested Saturday in conjunction with T.I. — was also present, along with T.I.'s mother, aunts and cousins.

Outside the courtroom, more family members, press, entertainment figures such as V-103's Greg Street and rapper Killer Mike were also on hand, along with plenty of fans hoping to see their favorite rapper freed today. A few even wore "FREE T.I.P." T-shirts for the occasion.

The first time the doors swung open, the mood immediately lifted outside the courtroom as his girlfriend Cottle and others exited wearing relieved expressions. Apparently, the judge had given them reason to believe T.I.'s chances of release were good, based on statements made from the bench. But it was apparent when the hearing ended about a half-hour later that wouldn't be the case.

T.I.'s next hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. next Friday.

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