Being a successful artist requires more skill than simply recording good music -- you need to know how to carry yourself as well. A big part of that is knowing how to answer (or skillfully dodge) difficult and controversial questions during interviews, without coming off as disrespectful or dismissive. I'm convinced that there's no rapper who handles those situations better than T.I.
In the past six months alone, we've had several interviews with T.I. at MTV News, where he responded to difficult and uncomfortable questions with thoughtful composure and exceptional vocabulary (of course). You'll see what I mean below.
Mediating between Snoop Dogg and Iggy Azalea
The Internet watched while these two went back-and-forth on social media for a few days. It ended with an Instagram post from Snoop Doog, explaining that he and Tip had talked things out. Naturally, we had to ask T.I. how that phone call went, when he sat with us to talk about his new album Paperwork on Tuesday. In the video above, you'll notice how delicately he handles the response, making sure not to offend Snoop in any way.
Dealing with rumors about Floyd Mayweather and his wife Tiny
Most rappers would probably rather admit that they dropped a wack album, before they'd want to answer a personal question about their wife's controversial relationship with a famous athlete. But once again, Tip managed to field this one rather skillfully.
Responding to Azealia Banks' hating ways
It's not often that you see T.I. lose his cool, but even when he's annoyed about a particular situation, he's more likely to turn his response into a joke, instead of lashing out. The "advice" he gave to Azealia Banks after she criticized his family, is a perfect example of that.
Addressing a negative song his wife might've written about him
On her recent track “What the F— You Gon Do?” T.I.'s wife Tiny seemed to be making some pretty unflattering comments about their relationship (and in the video, specifically). Tip clearly didn't want to answer any questions about this, but he tried to smoothly deflect. “No reaction,” he said of his feelings to the song, before adding, “I mean…I’ve been hearing very very good things about it, [from] people in the community, just saying that it’s a lot better than the stuff they’ve been hearing lately — so that’s good.” A real pro.