T.I. Lays Friend To Rest, Tour Temporarily Halted

Rapper Clifford "T.I."

Harris mourned the loss of his best friend and personal assistant at a funeral

service held yesterday (May 8) in Atlanta.

Philant Johnson,

26, of Union City, Ga., was killed last Wednesday (May 3) and three other members

of T.I.’s entourage were injured in a shooting incident following a performance

at Bogarts nightclub in Cincinnati. T.I. was not hurt.

The rapper paid

his final respects during the funeral service at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church.

"I spent a

lot of time holding the microphone and performing, but I ain’t never did nothing

quite this hard," T.I. said. "For my partner, I ain’t even going to

focus on no negativity. Family forever, and I love you."

A heavy police

presence greeted those who came to pay respects to Johnson. Police cars and

motorcycles lined the street outside the church and officers stood guard in

the church sanctuary but didn’t search those entering the church.

The Grand Hustle

Entertainment family, Atlanta rappers Killer Mike and Yung Joc, DJ Toomp, ATL

director Chris Robinson, Warner Music Group president Kevin Liles and V-103

personality Frank Ski were among the estimated 950 friends, family, fans and

entertainers in attendance at the funeral.

Ski referred to

Johnson as a "fallen soldier who was a good man, a very good man."

T.I. was one of

the pallbearers who helped lift Johnson’s casket into a black horse-drawn carriage,

which escorted him to Lincoln Cemetery in northwest Atlanta, where he was buried.

No arrests have

been made in conjunction with the shooting incident, which halted T.I.’s nationwide

tour that kicked off last month.

T.I. was set to

appear in St. Louis on Wednesday night, and while many reports say that the

rapper will resume the tour, T.I. has not yet made any final decisions.

"I don’t know

if I’m going to be in New Orleans Tuesday," the rapper told the Atlanta

Journal-Constitution. "It’s hard to say. Because there are so many

things that Philant would be doing that ain’t going to be able to be done now."

Related Stories