Since completing his federal prison sentence, [artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist] has been out to reclaim his crown as King of the South, even dropping the post-bid single "I'm Back," on which he acknowledged past mistakes but seemed intent on looking forward. But all that hasn't stopped Tip from responding to critics who argue the Grand Hustle mogul received preferential treatment in being granted what a judge described as an "experimental" plea deal.
"What people don't take into consideration is the reason that I was eligible for certain agreements that they weren't eligible for was because I made myself a useful member of society," T.I. tells XXL in the magazine's July/August issue.
T.I. was sentenced in March 2009 on felony weapons charges arising from a 2007 arrest, when he was apprehended just before a scheduled appearance at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. The Atlanta rapper pleaded guilty in March 2008 and struck a plea deal: a sentence of a year and a day would be contingent upon the star paying a $100,000 fine and completing 1,500 hours of community service; 1,000 hours to be finished before entering prison and 500 after his release. Also, post-prison, T.I. agreed to submit to drug counseling, a curfew, random property searches, DNA testing and a yearlong home confinement, among other conditions of the deal.
In the cover story, T.I. says his community work was a primary factor in landing him a plea deal.
"Most muthaf---as catch cases and get time. My n---a, you wasn't doing sh-- when you was out here, so wasn't no reason for them to keep you out here."
Tip also takes on haters who have accused him of "snitching," a practice that has particularly negative connotations in the rap world — and which has proved troubling to law enforcement. The MC tells the magazine that critics should come at him with hard evidence to support their claims.
"Please understand the G code that I learned from, if you speak out your mouth that a muthaf---a is telling on somebody and you can't come with indisputable, irrefutable facts to support that statement, that makes you the sucker," T.I. said. "You are now in violation of the G code. And there ain't nobody, nowhere in naan jail sayin' I was on they paperwork."
The July/August issue of XXL goes on sale July 6. Tip is staying busy meanwhile, dropping new music and prepping for his summer release, King Uncaged.
What do you think of T.I.'s remarks about snitching? Tell us what you think in the comments.