Before T.I. went to the slammer earlier this month, he gave VIBE one of his last interviews. Below are a few excerpts from the cover story, which goes on sale Nov. 30th. Check out behind the scene footage here.
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
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 shit 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
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