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Rap's prison rotation: T.I. out, Lil Wayne headed in


SO LONG: Lil Wayne's farewell-to-New Orleans gig last night 

Take a good long look at Weezy up there, from his farewell gig last night at New Orleans Arena: might be a while before you see him again. DWAYNE CARTER is, as you may recall, due to begin serving a year-long jail sentence, dating back to his 2007 arrest for weapons possession, after the cops pulled over his tour bus. The prison time is part of a plea deal that Weezy cut with prosecuters, and his official sentencing is scheduled for February 9 -- a week and a day after his new album, Rebirth, is scheduled to hit stores.

You can bet that Wayne's camp has backlogged enough material to keep his visibility strong throughout 2010. Just last week, MTV.com began rolling out clips from Lil Wayne Presents The Nino Brown Story Part 2, the second installment of DJ Scoob Doo's behind-the-scenes DVD series. The big question: does the Weezy camp have any footage that isn't incriminating? Sure, MTV blurs the spliff, but that probably won't help convince the sheriffs in Arizona and Texas, where Wayne has open marijuana possession cases pending. 

In better news, T.I. is one step closer to freedom. A couple of days before Christmas, Tip -- govt name: Clifford Harris -- was quietly transferred from a low-security prison in Arkansas to a halfway house in Atlanta, where he's expected to serve out another three months of his year-and-a-day sentence for, yup, weapons possession. He could be out of the halfway house by March. 

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