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    T.I.: "The Longer I Sit, the Smarter I Get"

    T.I. Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for AXE

    T.I. may be locked up, but that's not stopping his music or his messages from getting out.

    Despite spending the  better part of the next year in an Arkansas minimum-security prison, the Grammy winner took managed to find time to give a status update.

    So how's he holding up?

    MORE: T.I. and Tiny busted on drug charges

    By the sounds of it, he's doing great. Definitely helps that his new album, No Mercy, which he scrambled to finish before surrendering, dropped today.

    "So here it is...NO MERCY, the most honest and intimate installment of my life story as promised," T.I., real name Clifford Harris, writes about the album. "Hope ya'll enjoy it and it lives up to the very high standards I've set for myself or anyone who's considered to be one of the best."

    The self-appointed King of the South then gives himself props.

    "I must admit it takes a lot to go through as much as I have and still keep the love in your heart and in your art. But at the end of the day, if that's what it takes to produce the music to keep the world of hip-hop evolving on its axis...Then even the lowest of the lows of my life was all worth it. Thanks again for your prayers, your time, and attention. And remember...it doesn't matter how long it'll be before the next time you see me. What matters is I'll be a better man beforethat time comes. The longer I sit, the smarter I get."

    As for the fans?

    "I'd like to give a very special thank you to all the fans who've been writing me and lifting my spirits every day. I read all of them. Although I would never be able to write you all back, I'd like to list as many of you individually as I can and thank the others collectively."

    T.I. ends by saying he doesn't consider himself "done" and is keeping his head up. He wants to be a "father to his kids," a "husband to his wife" and "son to his mother."

    He even talks about his next album, and says he'll be annoucing the title soon.

    '"Ya'll take it light and be eazy," is how he ends the letter, posted on trapmuzic.

    Before his Nov. 1 surrender, T.I. not only completed the album, but he also shot a music video featuring Chris Brownfor the album's second single, "Get Back Up."

    Remember, kids, crime, um, doesn't pay.

    Check out these celebs in mug-shot mania

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