T.I. Didn’t Picture This Paper Trail: “I Thought I’d Be In Prison, Dead Or Back Selling Crack”

T.I. Didn’t Picture This Paper Trail: “I Thought I’d Be In Prison, Dead Or Back Selling Crack”

Grammy-winning rapper T.I. speaks on his successful music career and how he never envisioned being a platinum-selling artist with an established track record in the new XXL Magazine.

Based on an excerpt from Tip’s feature, the “King of the South” says he didn’t think there would be any happy ending in his life.

“Hell nah. I thought I’d be in prison or dead or back selling crack. I came so close to getting back in the game after my first album didn’t do what it was supposed to do. I still had people to feed. I wasn’t front lines like I was at one time, but I definitely…I’m not going to talk anymore about that.” (XXL Magazine)

T.I. also talks about the struggle he has endured with record labels accepting his toned down persona.

“Nah, they hated it. Labels love hardcore T.I. That keeps the cash register ringing. They don’t want me to go to prison and caught though. They want me to be the Teflon Don, and I can’t blame them. That shit’s sexy. But I’m older, man. I’m wiser, I’m calmer… I’m better, stronger. I’m ready for whatever tomorrow got coming.” (XXL Magazine)

Last year, the ATL stomper said his contractual obligation was the only reason he kept making new music.

“This is what everyone fails to realize. I want out. I want out, man. What the game is going to and what has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent. What I embody, this game contradicts that. So I want out. I’m in it because I love music and I have obligations contractually.” (“The Breakfast Club”)

Back in June 2010, the former Atlantic Records star forecasted his run in hip-hop.

“I’m not going to be the 40-year-old rapper. I would not,” Tip told CNN in a recent interview. “That’s Jay. He’s doing it very well. Hats off, but I just don’t see that for me.” Tip, who will release his new album King Uncaged on August 17, prefers to take the path of another super-successful rapper. “If I had the option to [be] Jay-Z [or] Will Smith, I think I’d go with Will,” he revealed. “I’m a Jay-Z fan. I have a lot of admiration and respect for Jay and his legacy. But I feel like Will, he gets to spend more time with his family. He gets to be home more and actually raise his kids. I feel like he has more of a home life…and the money don’t hurt. Twenty million dollars a flick ain’t bad.” (Rap-Up)

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