T.I. was repudiated by an Atlanta couple embroiled in a discrimination controversy at a local sushi restaurant after he used his clout to intervene in the situation without their input.
His intervention after the widely seen confrontation only drew the ire of the aggrieved pair.
Kaylan Colbert and her husband, William Johnson, were at the center of an incident that originated in Umi Sushi restaurant in Atlanta on Oct. 23. Management asked Johnson to leave the sushi establishment because he was wearing sneakers, which the managers claimed was against the dress code. Tensions flared when Johnson noted that a white woman in the restaurant was wearing sneakers but not being asked to leave. T.I. came across news of the incident and called for a possible boycott, but Johnson made it clear that the rapper may have stepped over the line with his next actions.
T.I. initially posted an image on Thursday, Oct. 29, of the words “I see we are going to have to shut umi sushi down the way we did Houston’s!!!” overlaid in white against a black background. In the caption he had written “I’ve been made aware of some injustices that requires our immediate attention. We comin… #YouViolateWeDemonstrate.”
Afterward, on the same day, T.I. posted video of himself meeting with the owners of Umi and seemingly making amends. Written beside it was the caption “UMI update. Our culture RUNS THIS TOWN!! It WILL BE RESPECTED!! At ALL COSTS…BY ANY MEANS!! & That’s On ME!!”
Johnson caught wind of the video and posted his own critical message in response.
“Tip, you didn’t reach out to us at all and you spoke on our behalf,” he said. “You didn’t go to the issue. He never apologized on your video. All he spoke of was his connections and what he could do for his business. It wasn’t about what’s going on with us, how I feel, how I feel threatened, how he actually treats people from our community.”
Johnson continued by saying that the owners of the restaurant had connections with politicians and rappers in Atlanta, which he believes is the reason T.I. did not reach out to him personally.
He added that he was “disappointed” and “hurt” by what T.I. did, because he considers him someone he admires. Johnson also noted the lack of response from Killer Mike as well. Seemingly disappointed, he said, “Where is the love with your own people first instead of trying to save face with someone who has clout in this city?”
T.I. found out about Johnson’s reaction, which initiated one from him in response.
“First of all, I don’t even eat sushi. I don’t know you people. My only intention is and has been to speak on behalf of the people and represent collective accordingly. … That’s it,” he said.
He also mentioned that he received no money for what he did, and said that his team tried to DM the couple, but got no answer. In the caption, T.I. wrote, “Hardest s—t about it all is having to fight with, the same people we out here fighting for!!! S—s f—n exhausting!!! I CANT WAIT for someone else to take the wheel. But just in case you ain’t noticed… AINT NOBODY in no hurry to step in so… like it or not… I’m da best n— you got. Best to just find ways to work together.”