In the wake his 11-month prison sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release, T.I. has been far from quiet. His seventh studio album, No Mercy, is set to be released in early December, and the King of the South recently took to his blog to discuss his dismay over his recidivism. Now the rapper has opened up to Vibe magazine about a variety of topics. In the interview, he talks about developing a dependency to prescription pills and shares his feeling about how he’s been treated since his most-recent arrest. He explained to the magazine that since people generally are judgmental even to those they are personally acquainted with when they’re downtrodden, he couldn’t expect to be treated any better from fans and the media.
“They do that to people they know personally, so how can I expect them to treat me, only knowing me through television?” T.I. suggested. “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.”
When questioned about the fact that many of these charges were self-inflicted, T.I. brought up his troubled past: growing up on welfare with only one parent present, selling drugs at an early age and being in and out of prison for most of his life. He also questioned whether being “crucified” for possessing three pills was fair.
“I mean, of course it’s wrong and unacceptable and inexcusable,” he maintained. “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 shootout and killed somebody — then I could see that.”
T.I. also discussed his addiction to prescription pills. He explained that after having a lot of work done on his teeth, he was prescribed Oxycontin and hydrocodone for the pain. He said he stopped using marijuana and alcohol, but after the pain went away he continued to take the pills.
“I get these pills and I start taking them for the pain at first. And then I’m like, ’Wait — this sh– makes me feel good, and it’s legal,’ ” he said. “After the pain went away, I kept taking it. I had like five, six prescriptions. So I had, like, 80 pills. Everybody else might have a drink or smoke a blunt — I took a pain pill.”
T.I. revealed that he discussed his pill addiction with Eminem, as well. The two have recorded songs together in the past — most recently, “All She Wrote,” which appears on No Mercy.
“We talked a lot,” T.I. explained. “I asked him how he knew he was an addict. Basically, if you put yourself in harm’s way … if you risk that, you’ve got to assume that there is something fundamentally wrong with your thought process.”
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