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T.I. busted for methamphetamine possession; maybe we should have seen it coming?

Rapper T.I. has been arrested by Los Angeles police. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Two burning questions about T.I.'s arrest on meth charges in West Hollywood late Wednesday:

  • How could he have screwed things up so badly, while still on probation after a stint in the federal pen on weapons charges (he was lucky to get as light a sentence as he did) and on the cusp of new career heights?

  • And should we have seen it coming?

    Our colleague Chris Richards interviewed the Atlanta-bred rapper three weeks ago on the occasion of his new movie, "Takers," and his first post-prison CD, set for release Sept. 28. Richards's story hasn't been published yet, but he told us the calm charisma T.I. radiated in media appearances earlier this year had evaporated; he gave sullen, one-word answers -- and actually seemed on the verge of falling asleep. Richards caught him yawning and struggling to keep his eyes open.

    He didn't necessarily seem impaired, says Richards -- just exhausted, and kind of checked out. (A PR rep for the movie said the star had been up early doing interviews all morning: "He was a trouper.")

    Flash-forward a couple weeks. T.I., 29, and his wife of one month Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, were in his luxury Maybach when they were pulled over by police, who report they smelled marijuana. The two were charged with possession of methamphetamines and later released after posting $10,000 bail each, the Associated Press reports.

    Not a great scenario for someone still on probation: T.I. served seven months last year in prison, then three in a halfway house, for possessing illegal machine guns and silencers; officials could send him back to prison if the new charge sticks. Also remains unclear if he'll make it to Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion this month.

    Richards tells us his interview, in a suite at the Mandarin Oriental in D.C., lasted about 20 minutes; T.I. bailed on the photo shoot with the Washington Post, though, to shuffle off to bed. (The rep says the shoot was a last-minute suggestion that hadn't been scheduled with the rapper.) Richards did get him to explain his regrets over his earlier arrest.

    "If I hadn't let my judgment be altered by circumstances and situations," the star said, "I wouldn't have found myself where I found myself."

  • By The Reliable Source  |  September 2, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
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    No worries. It's LA baby! He could have a kilo of coke and a machine gun in the car and he's not doing time.

    Posted by: starsky13 | September 3, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

    Typical. Send him back to jail where he belongs. T.I. is lucky no talent thug. Too bad he couldn't just capitalized on it, and remained free during the process.

    Posted by: Special_One40 | September 3, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

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