BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
HOUSTON – For rapper T.I., an Atlanta Falcons win on Sunday would mean much more than just bragging rights.
“It puts aside all doubt that Atlanta can’t be a championship city. It’s going to silence all of those doubters,” he said.
The Atlanta MC, who just wrapped a string of Canadian dates, including a show earlier this week in Nova Scotia, popped onto the set of ESPN’s “First Take” Friday morning for a Falcons-supporting appearance in between fellow Atlanta rapper Ludacris and Denver Broncos safety TJ Ward (Arizona Cardinals’ wideout Larry Fitzgerald and Cardinals’ safety Tyrann Mathieu also appeared throughout the morning).
T.I. mentioned after his TV segment that he’s going to lead a fan rally before Sunday’s game – in Houston, that is – with the simple plan of “celebrating.”
“I believe that it’s their year,” he said of the team, “They put together an incredible team. They can compete with the best in the league.”
His pick for MVP of the game should the Falcons win?
“It could be Julio (Jones), but I’m thinking it could be Matt (Ryan). But it COULD be Julio. I could see him topping that pass (like David Tyree) with the helmet,” he said. “I can see Julio topping that or if Matt Ryan keeps a consistent game and brings home the win…(he just has to) continue to do what he’s been doing.”
While T.I., who plays a show in Houston on Saturday at AURA nightclub, is an unabashed Atlanta sports fan, he’s also used his platform to share his thoughts about politics and the state of the country.
“Sports is great and music is phenomenal. But the times we’re living in calls for someone to use their voice to be the voice of the people,” he said. “It seems that the concerns and needs in certain areas of society are going unheard.”