This week is bittersweet for T.I. As the MC sits in jail, his seventh album No Mercy hits shelves on Tuesday (December 7) and the video for the title track also premiered on Monday (December 6).
"Trapped in a vicious circle/ Jesus' youngest disciple/ Tell the judge if he throwed the book at me/ Make it the bible," he raps at the outset of the song. After later comparing himself to late rapper Tupac Shakur — who also released an album while incarcerated — and noting how much fans missed the star once he was gone, T.I. adds, "Hindsight 20/20/ Future not as clear/ But I'm a rider til I die."
Incarceration during the promotion of an album isn't new for Tip — bothTrap Muzik and King found the MC in similar situations — but this 11-month prison stint follows the MC's previous year away for his 2007 felony gun possession charge.
Many fans were frustrated at his newest conviction because the consequences not only put the MC away, but forced fans to miss their favorite MC ... again, and defend him ... again. But the always diplomatic T.I. spoke to his fans directly about this very topic via his TrapMuzik.com site.
"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," wrote T.I. in a recent press release from prison in Arkansas.
"But you know what? As history has shown us before, I find my greatest inspiration during my darkest hours," the King of the South continued. "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 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."
What do you think of T.I.'s "No Mercy" video? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!