With just under a month out of prison, T.I. has already managed to make a loud and clear comeback. He made his first public appearance at the B.E.T. Hip Hop Awards and started a media blitz this week, appearing on The View and Howard Stern’s radio show.
In an interview with Funkmaster Flex on Tuesday, T.I. addressed those who’ve criticized him for his recent stint in jail, saying he’d grown up in a tough environment with a different lifestyle than others.
“I’ve been rippin’ and runnin’ and doing what I’ve been doing since I was 12, 13, 14 years-old okay?” he said. “I’d say I [first] got in trouble when I was 27 years-old. That’s 13 years when I was doing what I was doing. So since I was 27–I’m 31 now–that’s four years. So you mean to tell me that I can develop all these habits over the course of 13 years, and you want me to kick [those habits] before four years? All of them? Ya’ll gon’ have to work with me.”
He continued, “You might say, ‘I don’t see why he did that again’…It might not have took that long for you because you did not begin in the place where I began. Your circumstances were not my circumstances…People who know my circumstances and where I came from, they are applauding me. Standing ovations.”
Tip questioned the values of those who have been criticizing him and wondered what people look for in the character of another individual.
“In a day and age where a man is judged more on the mistakes that he makes, more so than the character of that man and the pure intent within his heart–so you mean to tell me that if I made no mistakes and kept a clean face but I was just a dirty, grimy slimeball–you mean to tell me you’d rather have that T.I.? Or would you rather have the guy that struggles within himself because he still cares about people?”