Grammy-winning rapper T.I. speaks on his time behind bars and what Hollywood star tried to get him out of serving time in his new Billboard cover story.
Based on an excerpt from the feature, Tip reveals what lengths blockbuster movie icon Will Smith went through for him.
“As you mentioned, of course, [Eminem]. He was extremely supportive and inspirational during that time. Busta Rhymes, Puffy, Lyor Cohen, Russell Simmons, Nelly, David Banner, Charlie Mack, Will Smith. Will actually went as far as getting in touch with [attorney general] Eric Holder and the Obama administration trying to see if we could get some kind of release. He was very politely told that was not possible. [laughs]” (Billboard)
According to Tip, Smith stepped up following his publicized August 2010 probation violation.
“It was the last time I was going back, and I was going to court for my probation violation. He was in deep discussions about it. And he’s been a huge contributor to the administration, and I mean not just in finances, I’m talking about time and other kinds of efforts, so it ain’t like his words were falling on deaf ears. But I understood. I didn’t even expect no help. I didn’t expect nobody to be able to help me. I knew I made my bed and I knew I had to lay in it.” (Billboard)
The rap star got released from an Arkansas jail last year for his crime.
The rapper was sentenced to 11 months in prison in October for breaking his federal probation after he was arrested in Los Angeles on drug charges. He was set to be released at the end of September, but prison authorities released him a month early. His attorney, Jonathan Leonard, confirmed T.I. was released but did not immediately say where his client is going. (The Washington Post)
A couple years ago, the “King of the South” dished out his admiration for Smith.
“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)