T.I. Grabs 2 Trophies As BET Hip Hop Awards Move On In Rapper's Absence

ImageComplete with stand-out performances and unexpected absences, the hip-hop community descended upon Atlanta this weekend to pay tribute to some of the genre's biggest stars at this year's BET Hip Hop Awards.


The event, which took place this past Saturday (October 13) was a star studded affair, though hometown hero T.I. was noticeably absent from the evening's festivities. T.I. (born Clifford Harris) was arrested by federal officials early Saturday afternoon on the corner of North Ave and Piedmont Rd in the Walgreens shopping center in Atlanta. According to the Associated Press, T.I. was taken into custody in a shopping center parking lot where federal officials said he planned to pick up machine guns and silencers he had his bodyguard buy for him.

"I'm saddened anytime I hear of a hip-hopper being locked up or somehow stunted in his life or his growth," said "I Am HipHop" Icon Award winner, KRS-One during his acceptance speech. "I hope he wasn't into nothing crazy."

Though not physically in attendance, T.I.'s presence, or lack thereof, was still felt at the event. The rapper managed to nab two of the nine awards for which he was nominated, including "Album of the Year," which he shared with Chicago rhyme-sayer Common.

"I salute my guy T.I., who also won, wherever he is," said Common, who also took the award for "Lyricist of the Year." Other artists who were slated to take the stage with T.I. still performed their sets without the rapper, including Wyclef Jean, who did, "You Know What It Is," as host Katt Williams appeared on stage dressed like Tip. Rappers Alfamega and Busta Rhymes also performed T.I.'s latest single, "Hurt."

SoundScan champion Kanye West also walked away with two trophies for "Best Live Performance" as well as "Best Hip-Hop Video." In a rare show of humility, West admitted to believing that UGK's video for "International Players Anthem" featuring OutKast should have been awarded the trophy, saying "I didn't deserve this award above them. They do instead of me."

In a true act of class, Big Boi returned the award to West, "You worked too hard for this. No, you deserve it."

The 2007 BET Hip Hop Awards is scheduled to air on Wednesday, October 17 on BET at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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