Jesus, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali…and now T.I.. At least that’s how the rapper sees his return to prison for probation violation, comparing his troubles to those of the aforementioned heroes in a Vibe Magazine cover story. “[People] 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 King didn’t fail a drug test while on probation for federal gun charges, you say? Well, the guy who recorded King can explain that, too. “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…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.” For the record, killing someone in a shoot-out while on probation would probably get you more than the 11 months T.I. is scheduled to serve.
It should also be noted that T.I. got a remarkably light sentence the first time around, spending a year shooting movies, recording tracks and starring in a reality show about his community service before serving 9 months in prison. In fact, it might be the fact that he was supposed to be a role model for kids that got him sent away for just a little bitty bit of chemical abuse, which T.I. claims started with legal pain pills. “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.” Here’s hoping that dependence ends with the ecstasy cops found in his car.
[Photo: Getty Images]