What started off as any other day for T.I. ended like none other.
The rap star helped a suicidal man come off a ledge after hearing about it on radio station V103, located in the building the man was going to hurl himself off. Having fallen on hard times himself, T.I. found a little redemption Wednesday.
T.I. says he's no hero. Yesterday, he could have fooled us.
"People were trying to talk to him and get him down," T.I. recalls. "Something in my heart just said, 'You need to help.' At that point, I started calling people."
The radio station said the man was unresponsive to their pleas not to jump – so T.I. drove there, "talked to a police officer and he sent me to the negotiator."
"They told him I was there and he started responding a little."
"I told him it's not that bad, that I was there for him and there is nothing you can't get through as long as you're willing to put time and energy into it,'" he says, adding, "'but first thing's first. You're going to have to come down and holler at me.'"Negotiators showed the man T.I.'s message, which he videotaped, and about 20 minutes later, the man came down with T.I. waiting for a "heart to heart."
"The first thing I said to him was, 'Man, what's up? What's wrong?'"
"He just shook his head and took a deep breath and said, 'Everything.' He was kind of depressed and kind of just worn out by life," T.I. said of the man.
"His demeanor to me seemed like a guy who just can't catch a break."
Giving the man some advice, T.I. remembers telling him, "It's never as bad as it seems," but tried to temper his hopeful message with reality as well.
After telling him he'd stay in touch and do what he can to help, he noted, "I'm not saying I'm going to snap my fingers and life is going to be perfect.'"
While T.I. says he's never contemplated suicide, he can relate to falling on hard times, such as he and wife Tameka Cottle getting arrested last month.
"These past six weeks ... I've been feeling tired and weak," says. "But I'm not ready to give up. I'm ready to defeat it and move on. [This] wasn't heroism. Just listening to my spirit. I have a very hard time taking any credit for it."
"It was God's work. I just showed up."