Jailed rapper T.I. speaks on being painted as the “bad guy” and the aftermath of being sentenced to 11 months behind bars for a probation violation in the new December/January issue of VIBE Magazine.
Within the feature, T.I. compares the public’s critical perspective of him to the attention late African American leaders Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. received in the 1960’s.
“If I place my value in the way humans treat me, then maybe. But they’re human, man?they can’t help themselves. They do that to people they know personally. So how can I expect them to treat me, only knowing me through television? They did that to Jesus. They did that to Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali. They did it to every great person you could possibly think of. When it was all good, they was with them. When things got bad, then they was against them.” (VIBE)
T.I. also explains why he believes he was unjustly given nearly a year in jail for an insignificant crime.
“If you look at a guy who came up, no pops in the house, moms on welfare, food stamps; started selling dope when he was 12, 13 years old, came up handling guns, being in shoot-outs; started going to jail when he was 15. In all of this chaos and this mischief and lawlessness, the person who was just in jail for machine guns and silencers turns his life around. And now you want to crucify him ?for what? Three pills. I mean, of course it’s wrong and unacceptable and inexcusable. No problem. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s rather petty. It’s rather petty to hold someone’s feet to the fire for something so small when they have overcame things that were so big. All that could have been going wrong?if I was riding with more guns, or if I had gotten into a shoot-out and killed somebody, then I could see that. But just think about it. I’ve gotten it down to this much.” (VIBE)
Last week, the rapper released a letter on his TrapMuzik.com website speaking on his jail experience.
“This experience is truly a pain I have never felt before and that’s saying a lot for a n*gga who’s been down locked up as many times as I have,” Tip wrote. “I see this as a real ass whoopin’. The kind you don’t just go back outside to play afterwards. You take ya ass to bed and don’t come out of your room until it’s time to go to school…I don’t know what effect this will have on my life moving forward but I’m certainly sick and motherf*cking tired of going to jail, juve, trison, the pen, correctional facilities or whatever else you want to call it…I’d have been better off doing a 5-10 year bid one time than going in time and time again for days, weeks and months for the last 15 years of my life.” (Trap Muzik)
After turning himself in earlier this month, T.I. put out a statement to fans speaking on the punishment for violating his probation in October when arrested with drugs.
“Thank you to all that took the time to check out my new video”Get Back Up” with my homie Chris Brown. And a bigger thanks to those of you who decided to comment (good & bad). To all of you who say, “he should practice what he preaches” and “how could he do something so stupid…AGAIN?”, you’re absolutely right and I couldn’t agree with you more. But you know what? As history has shown us before, I find my greatest inspiration during my darkest hours. So all fans of music, T.I. or not, should be able to agree that NO MERCY will surely be my best work yet. After all isn’t that what it’s all about? If I never went to prison, never did drugs, never f’ed up again, did everything right and never made great music….would you even care enough to comment on T.I.? Doubt it, so bear that in mind while you jump to your conclusions guys.Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “Notice not the comments of your enemies but the silence of your friends.” So although I’m still in touch…watching, reading and listening, I’m not concerned with what negative people say more than I am with what positive people don’t. Guess that’s enough for now… Love you all still, whether you still love me or not. REAL TALK!!! And I would like to give a special I LOVE U to @star_omg and @tinymajormama. – Tip” (Statement)
The new issue of VIBE drops Tuesday, November 30th.
Check out Young Dro speaking on T.I. down below: