Archive for May, 2006

T.I. Lays Friend To Rest, Tour Temporarily Halted

May 9th, 2006 | By Administrator

Rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris mourned the loss of his best friend and personal assistant at a funeral service held yesterday (May 8) in Atlanta.

Philant Johnson, 26, of Union City, Ga., was killed last Wednesday (May 3) and three other members of T.I.’s entourage were injured in a shooting incident following a performance at Bogarts nightclub in Cincinnati. T.I. was not hurt.

The rapper paid his final respects during the funeral service at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church.

“I spent a lot of time holding the microphone and performing, but I ain’t never did nothing quite this hard,” T.I. said. “For my partner, I ain’t even going to focus on no negativity. Family forever, and I love you.”

A heavy police presence greeted those who came to pay respects to Johnson. Police cars and motorcycles lined the street outside the church and officers stood guard in the church sanctuary but didn’t search those entering the church.

The Grand Hustle Entertainment family, Atlanta rappers Killer Mike and Yung Joc, DJ Toomp, ATL director Chris Robinson, Warner Music Group president Kevin Liles and V-103 personality Frank Ski were among the estimated 950 friends, family, fans and entertainers in attendance at the funeral.

Ski referred to Johnson as a “fallen soldier who was a good man, a very good man.”

T.I. was one of the pallbearers who helped lift Johnson’s casket into a black horse-drawn carriage, which escorted him to Lincoln Cemetery in northwest Atlanta, where he was buried.

No arrests have been made in conjunction with the shooting incident, which halted T.I.’s nationwide tour that kicked off last month.

T.I. was set to appear in St. Louis on Wednesday night, and while many reports say that the rapper will resume the tour, T.I. has not yet made any final decisions.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be in New Orleans Tuesday,” the rapper told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s hard to say. Because there are so many things that Philant would be doing that ain’t going to be able to be done now.”