10 Questions With T.I.
8 months ago
T.I. Takes Inspiration From Marvin Gaye With a New Identity: "Trouble Man"
Loop 21: How do you feel about the response to the series?
T.I.: The fan reaction was very positive. They were inspired and said it was a breath of fresh air in reality shows. I was flattered. It gave people a true understanding of my life. There has been a lot of speculation about me. This shows the real T.I.
Loop 21: Last year you published your first novel Power & Beauty about two teenagers in Atlanta who lose their mother and the street hustler who takes care of them. You told me you wanted to do something to make your fans read more, something that would appeal to people in the hood as well as college students. How did you feel about the reaction to the book?
T.I.: I was proud of the popularity of the first book. But people were upset by how it ended so hopefully it will motivate them to get the new book.
Loop 21: The lead characters in Power & Beauty are separated for years and when they finally plan to reunite at the end of the book, Power is suddenly taken away. Your follow-up novel Trouble & Triumph will be in stores September 18. Give us a preview.
T.I.: It is a continuation of Power & Beauty. It answers the questions from the first book. Writing fiction is different for me than writing raps because my lyrics are reality, what really happened in my life. Fiction is a totally different look. In Trouble & Triumph we see their love lives and see if Power and Beauty reunite.
Loop 21: Your second wedding anniversary was July 30. Did you celebrate?
T.I.: We celebrated in Napa Valley. We went horseback riding, rode in a hot air balloon and did some wine tasting. We are looking forward to the third anniversary. We are blessed and we have survived so much adversity.
Loop 21: As you’ve previously stated, you don’t shy away from your past. You've served time for selling drugs and possessing firearms. Do you have a message about the dangers of being involved in drugs and guns?
T.I.: I am not in a position to preach to people about drugs and guns. I am not qualified to tell people what to do. I am still trying to get myself together. I am not a role model. The dangers are obvious.
Loop 21: When you returned from prison last year you said you did not like the state of hip-hop. This is a quote: "What the game is going to and what it has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent. What I embody, this game contradicts that. I want out.” How do you feel now?
T.I.: When I got out, hip-hop had changed so much. Everything was overwhelming. What I said was a natural reaction. The people responded, saying they needed me in the game. They said the way I was representing, I was an inspiration to them and they needed me. That inspired me to stay in the game.