When I read, earlier this year, that T.I., an umpteen-time felon, somehow managed to get off in his gun case with just a few months in jail, and community service, which of course is gonna double as publicity for his new album, I figured he must have told on somebody.

But now I'm not sure what to think. The other day, T.I. got dragged into court again, this time by one of his babies' mothers, looking to help alleviate the strain of this current recession by charging his ass for some more child support, and he somehow managed to get lucky yet again.

Supposedly, T.I. had been breaking off the mother of his two oldest children, Orangelo and Lemonjelo, with $2,000 a month, on some under the table type shit, plus buying them all kinds of toys and what have you. But the babies' mother - probably some awful hoodrat from back before he was a rapper (you see what he's with now) - was upset that he kept all of the toys and shit at his house, and that she couldn't afford to provide them with the same level of material comfort when they were with her.

I guess she didn't want the kids to get the idea, because they had all of these amazing toys at T.I.'s house, but all they had at her house was a bag of rocks and glass, that she was worthless sack of shit that couldn't even afford to buy her kids any toys. As if Ninja Turtles cost that much money. So she lawyered up and set about having the amount of her payments increased. Which shouldn't have been all that difficult, given the success T.I. has had in his career.

But get this: T.I. somehow managed to get away with only having the amount of his child support increased by $1,000, to $3,000. That's only $1,500 per future criminal. There must be guys who haven't even been in movies that are getting raped worse than that each month. Shit, if T.I. stops buying these little bastards toys, which I would, on GP, he might even end up making money on this deal.

Which makes me wonder: Does T.I. really just have the most incredible lawyers evar, even more so than the guy Fiddy Cent uses? Or could it be that there's more to it? Like, the judge had a look at T.I.'s financial situation and determined that there's just not a whole lot he's gonna be able to do for those poor bastards.

Of course, I'm gonna assume it's the latter.

On seemingly every track on T.I.'s new album, Paper Trail, he addresses the issues he's been going through for the past year or so, and the various things that have been said about him in the media. He even mentions blogging a few times - which makes me wonder if he spent his time on house arrest checking his RSS feeds in Bloglines and Googling his own name. Probably, right?

It struck me as odd, the other day, when I reviewed Paper Trail for my own site, that at one point, he bitched about people suggesting that he was going broke. Really? Because I don't seem to recall mentioning in any of my posts about him that he was running out of money. How would I even know? I mean, I could see if he was complaining about people saying that Tiny looks like a space alien. *rimshot*

No but really, you wonder if that line about people saying he went broke isn't actually a bit of projection on his part, if I'm using that term correctly. (If I'm not, well, you catch my drift.) Maybe he really is concerned about his financial situation, and it somehow worked its way into one of his raps, on some paging Dr. Freud type shit. (Don't let me find out he's got a line in one of his songs about space aliens.)

It would make sense. In addition to the two he just got charged for, he's got enough other kids to start his own mini boot camp for juvenile delinquents. And that's not even counting the ones Tiny failed to carry to term. (My bad.) I don't know if he's Catholic, or if the public schools down there in Georgia don't have a strong sex ed program or what. And you have to think, if the nasty jumpoff from his pre-rap days managed to stick him for $3,000 a month, he must be paying at least that much, if not more, for the rest of his kids.

And let's not forget, he spent the last year or so in court and on house arrest, and he's about to spend even more time in the pokey. So not only must he have paid out the ass to his lawyer, but it's not like he was able to go out and do any shows. Which, I think we all know, is where the real money is. I mean, yeah, his albums have sold pretty well. But I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't making very much money at all just on album sales. From what I understand, most artists don't, even if they're successful.

Am I saying the guy's definitely broke, like I am? No. He was on Entourage the other day, which has got to be good for at least a few grand. And you have to figure he's got at least a few grand a month lying around, if a judge thinks he can afford to pay that much in child support. But I wouldn't be surprised if T.I.'s financial situation really is just as fucked the fuck up as the scenario I've laid out here, if not even more so.