Southern rapper David Banner recently reflected on incarcerated rapper T.I.‘s time behind bars and how the jailed Grand Hustle leader is down but not out.
Banner said despite Tip’s short physical frame, a big heart has always put him atop his competition.
“T.I.’s probably one of the strongest dudes that I ever met. Since the first day I met him, he was the shortest dude in the room but had his chest poked out the furthest [and] always kept his head up,” he said. Banner noted Tip’s resilience both as an artist and a businessman, one who engineered a fruitful deal with Atlantic after his debut outing with Arista went south.” (MTV)
Banner also said the public often confuses an artist’s fame with reality.
“Everybody expects entertainers to raise [their] family. One thing that he said that really struck me is that we’re still men; there’s still certain repercussions as black men in America with everybody’s eyes being on you. From the streets to business, we’re still men, we’re not gods. We’re not perfect,” Banner continued. “The thing that America has done, every mistake that a young black man makes — and not that he couldn’t have made better decisions — but in life, period, everybody that’s behind these cameras that’s on the Internet or whatever, look at the mistakes you make every day in life. If you made one or two mistakes, and then every time you make one or two mistakes, everybody is on you, that’s a lot of pressure as a person.” (MTV)
Prior to T.I. beginning an 11-month jail sentence for a probation violation last month, Banner said he was concerned with his friend’s inability to be with family while locked away.
“My biggest concern is not really so much about Tip. It’s about what his kids are going through. The one thing I know about Tip is that he is strong. When I first met him he was the shortest dude in the room [laughs]. But he was the toughest dude. He has always been grown. I just want his kids to be alright because no one ever talks about that aspect. That’s where my heart is.” (VIBE)
Last May, in light of Jim Jones and Cam’ron calling a truce to their internal beef, Banner told SOHH it was T.I. who said some differences are inevitable.
“I’m happy for their situation,” Banner said about Cam’ron andJim Jones recently reuniting. “I don’t think rap should be too much of anything, I don’t think we should all come together and sing ‘Kom-Bi-Ya’ and I don’t think that we should be beefing. I think we’re grown men but as grown men, you can have difficulties with each other but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have beef on the record. I don’t think that’s necessary. But at the same token, everybody’s not gonna get along with each other. That was something that I actually learned from Tip. Tip told me, ‘You’re not gonna get along with everybody in real life, so you’re not gonna get along with everybody in rap.’ And that’s fine. We men, we agree to disagree, but I don’t think we should do it like highschool and put it all in the music.” (SOHH)
Check out some recent pre-jail T.I. interview footage below: