T.I. means no harm. That's why when the Grammy Award-winning rapper caught some backlash from parents in response to his lecture at Woodland Middle School in Henry Country, G.A., he was taken aback.
In April, the Grand Hustle general delivered a few words of encouragement to adolescents at the school, explaining that some of his life choices weren't the smartest.
Shortly after, the school's principal, Dr. Terry Oatts, received several e-mails sharing their disapproval of T.I. speaking to their children. One email stated, "In the future, if T.I. or any other convicted felon needs to perform community service, ask for parental permission to allow our children to be exposed to these questionable individuals.”
T.I., who appeared on "The Wendy Williams Show" last Friday (May 28), responded to the criticism by saying the message delivered is more important than the messenger.
“Well to be perfectly honest… speaking freely if I may, I honestly believe that they should be more concerned with the message than the guy giving the message," T.I. told Wendy Williams. "I think they should have asked their children ‘what did you hear, what did he say?’ The complaints came after the fact. I think they should have asked ‘what did this guy tell you?’ I think the message is more important than who’s giving it. Because if it had been an accountant, a dentist… someone else coming in giving the same message, the message wouldn’t have been received.”
T.I. is currently putting the finishing touches on his seventh studio LP, "King Uncaged," which is set to hit stores August 17 via Grand Hustle Records/Atlantic Records.