T.I. may be in prison serving an 11 month sentence for a probation violation, but the press he did in support of his upcoming No Mercy album, prior to turning himself in, continues to surface.
The latest piece on the Atlanta rapper comes from Vibe magazine, who put TIP on the cover of their upcoming December/January 2011 issue.
In the interview with Vibe, T.I. gives a candid interview, in which he talks about how harsh his recent punishment was in wake of all the good he’s done, how he formed a drug dependency, and finally what Eminem had to say about his problem.
Below is a snippet of the feature story, which can be read in Vibe’s new issue due on newsstands November 30:
I’ve heard you mention how the good that you’ve done is easily forgotten. Do you feel that you’ve been treated unfairly?
If I place my value in the way humans treat me, then maybe. But they’re human, man — they can’t help themselves. They do that to people they know personally. So how can I expect them to treat me, only knowing me through television? 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.
But in this case things didn’t “get bad.” It’s something you did.
Let me just say this: [he sits up on the couch] If you look at a guy who came up, no pops in the house, moms on welfare, food stamps; started selling dope when he was 12, 13 years old, came up handling guns, being in shoot-outs; started going to jail when he was 15. In all of this chaos and this mischief and lawlessness, the person who was just in jail for machine guns and silencers turns his life around. And now you want to crucify him — for what? Three pills. I mean, of course it’s wrong and unacceptable and inexcusable. 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 shoot-out and killed somebody, then I could see that. But just think about it. I’ve gotten it down to this much.
How did you get a drug habit?
I had a lot of work done to my teeth. Oral surgery, extractions, six, seven, eight root canals. Between January to February. As soon as I got out, I had a lot of stuff done. In the joint, you eat shit that is unhealthy for you. I had fillings that fell out and stuff that had to get dealt with. Of course for the pain they gave me oxycontin and hydrocodone. And, mind you, on October 13, 2007, I had cut off everything — weed, alcohol. Then 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. 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. Times when I had 18-, 20-hour days, I’d take a pain pill. And eventually I developed―I guess―the beginning stages of dependence.
Have you talked to Eminem about addiction?
Sure. We got a record together, and we talked a lot. 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.