T.I.: I'm Not "Heroic" for Saving Suicidal Man
Rapper T.I. is humbled by talk that he's a hero after he talked a suicidal man down from a 22-story skyscraper in Atlanta on Wednesday.
"I'm having a very difficult, hard time taking credit for this," the hip-hop star, 30, told UsMagazine.com in a phone interview hours after the incident.
"God did all the work. I just showed up," T.I. (real name: Clifford Harris) explained. "So I can't say it's the most heroic thing that I did. It may have been one of the most spiritual moments that I've had."
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The rapper told Us he first heard about the desperate situation on the radio as he was driving to a video shoot. "Before I could even get out of my driveway, something in my heart just said, 'You gotta help.'"
T.I. drove to the building and quickly offered his services to police on the scene, suggesting he speak to the despondent man threatening to jump off the building.
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The rapper eventually taped a video message which negotiators played for the man. "It just said, 'Ya know, I'm looking forward to meeting you. I'm here, you know it'll get better, all you gotta do is help me help you," T.I. told Us of his impromptu video. "'Make the right decision. I'll be waiting for you when you get down here.'"
Within 20 minutes, the man had come down, and he and the rapper had a short conversation. "He didn't really speak much," T.I. said. "I asked him what was up, and he basically said 'Everything.' You could tell that he was just worn down...like he can't catch a break, you know?"
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T.I., who endured prison time and brushes with the law, told his new friend: "'No matter how bad it seems, things can get better and will get better, if you allow them to.'" He added, "'If you know anything about me, you know I know.'" ("Life can send you down very, very, very dark roads," T.I. later told Us. "It's not always pleasant and it seems unlivable even at times.")
Following their brief chat, the man was then escorted to the hospital. "As much as I can, given the opportunity, I definitely will be following up with him," the star said.
T.I. confessed he was "surprised" by the entire ordeal. "That's a level of life that you don't find yourself on often," he said. "In all of my experiences, it's very rare that I find a first, and that was a first. I was definitely playin' above my head."
He added that he hopes to "continue to be able to reach people's lives in a positive way. I was just doing what God led me to do."