While we were away momentarily, Billboard post their cover story with T.I., which proved to be quite the entertaining read. Tip’s putting the final preparations for his forthcoming project Trouble Man. The LP stands at a pivotal point in Clifford career, a point he even readily admits during his Q&A session. Aside from the actual music and what it’s been like attempting to get his career back on track following correctional facility derailments, T.I. revealed some rather unique information involving none other than Will Smith.
Through the years, you’ve mentioned different people being supportive of everything you’ve gone through, including Eminem. Who else has been there to help?
As you mentioned, of course, Em. He was extremely supportive and inspirational during that time. Busta Rhymes, Puffy, Lyor Cohen, Russell Simmons, Nelly, David Banner, Charlie Mack, Will Smith. Will actually went as far as getting in touch with [attorney general] Eric Holder and the Obama administration trying to see if we could get some kind of release. He was very politely told that was not possible. [laughs]
It was the last time I was going back, and I was going to court for my probation violation. He was in deep discussions about it. And he’s been a huge contributor to the administration, and I mean not just in finances, I’m talking about time and other kinds of efforts, so it ain’t like his words were falling on deaf ears. But I understood. I didn’t even expect no help. I didn’t expect nobody to be able to help me. I knew I made my bed and I knew I had to lay in it.
It goes to show just how far-reaching and influential has become that one of its own went as far as to contact the most recognizable political figure in America to see if he’d throw him a bone. Obviously, Will’s plea didn’t work, but the fact he reached out is awesome in its own right.
In regards to the music though, here’s to praying Tip brings it with T.M. Even he admits No Mercy was rushed and released under less-than-desirable circumstances. With more than a year to prepare this – and over 120 songs records – hopefully this is more vintage T.I. than what we last saw. Who knows, if the album is as good as the listening sessions have been conditioning me to think, maybe President Obama will scoop a copy.
To read the entire interview, click here to purchase the issue.