Even behind bars,
The incarcerated rapper's latest video premiered on Monday (October 5) and continues the prison theme set forth by his last video, "Remember Me," featuring Mary J. Blige. That video, which was to be the first single from the proposed Paper Trail reissue that was later shelved, was released just after Tip began his sentence and opened with the Atlanta rapper in an orange jail-issued jumpsuit.
"Hell of a Life" is similar, with Tip donning his prison duds early in the clip. But while "Remember Me" struck a more somber tone, "Hell of a Life" is celebratory. After the rapper enters prison, the Erik White-directed video flashes back 24 hours. Tip is shown all alone in a bedroom-like setting watching his career highlights on a flat-screen TV.
"Beamers, Bentleys, double Rs, Ferraris/ Every time I seen shorty, 'Where you headed tonight?'/ Selling out arenas, chicks with asses like Serena/ Man, shorty live a hell of a life, I'm tryna tell them," T.I. raps on the track's chorus.
The video is interwoven with performance clips as T.I. travels from the isolated bedroom to cruising around town in a Rolls Royce filled with bikini-clad women. A club scene ensues before Tip's time is up, and he finds himself beginning his prison sentence. There's a shot of a calendar with a red X across one of its days, and then the video ends with "To be continued."
Perhaps it's a nod to Tip's next album. The rapper revealed prior to beginning his real jail stint that his follow-up to Paper Trail will be dedicated to life after his trial. The rapper was sentenced to one year and one day in prison after illegally attempting to purchase firearms in Atlanta.
"The celebration, putting these things behind me and moving forward," Tip told MTV News in April about the direction of his next album, scheduled for a 2010 release. "Showcasing a new resilience, you know? Laughing in these suckers' faces. I'm going to get back to some of the old elements that put me on people's minds."