The late celebrity spinner won the DJ of the Year prize while the imprisoned rapper took home two trophies Saturday night -- the best collaboration award with Rihanna for the song "Live Your Life" and the album of the year award for "Paper Trail."
The Associated Press reported that T.I.'s fiancée, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, accepted his awards at the ceremony in Atlanta and read a letter from him. He began serving a yearlong sentence in late May on a federal weapons conviction.
Cottle quoted the rapper as writing: "My road to redemption is almost over. ... Thanks for the support."
Jay-Z and Drake also were winners, as was Ice Cube, who received the "I Am Hip-Hop" icon award.
Ice Cube helped launch the gangsta rap genre with the group NWA, and he starred in "Barbershop" and "Friday," which he also co-wrote.
"When you get recognized by your peers for a life of work, you got to be humbled," he said. "I'm honored by this. I have 20 more years of work left in me. I hope (BET) is ready to give out two of these awards."
Rapper Busta Rhymes presented the award for DJ AM, who died of an accidental drug overdose in August.
Kanye West, meanwhile, was a no-show — so there could be no repeat of his hijacking the stage like he did while interrupting Taylor Swift's award-winning moment at last month's MTV Video Music Awards.
The BET Hip-Hop Awards show will air on Oct. 27.