10/06/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT
• The 27-year-old rap star spent five months under house arrest on weapons charges but used the time to record a new CD (Paper Trail?). Now out doing community service—though still facing about a year in prison—he discusses how the experience changed him.
ON BEING UNDER HOUSE ARREST
I spent most days with my kids, helping with homework, playing catch and doing [other activities] around the house. Most nights I spent trying to create songs, going through beats and writing. This album is a reflection of what I've gone through, how I'm getting through. I've changed as a man. I've grown. Evolved.
ON STAYING IN TOUCH WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD
Nobody could visit after 11 p.m., so I'd get on iChat. I was chatting with everyone from Nelly to DJ Khaled. I also spent a lot of time on StreetCred.com. I'd be on there checking in with [fans].
ON THE RESPECT MY VOTE! CAMPAIGN
Even if you're a felon [and can't vote], you can encourage those who aren't to vote. You can make up for your minus one by plus 100.