T.I. recently announced that he planned on naming his upcoming album Trouble Man, which might refer to the Marvin Gay song of the same name that, like the rapper’s lyrics, details some of life’s grimmer realities.
Then again, the title could have been inspired by T.I.’s criminal history that includes multiple felony arrests and imprisonment for a variety of gun and drug offenses.
The rapper, fresh off a publicity tour pushing his first novel, covered a wide range of controversial topics in a recent interview with Vibe magazine.
The “Rubberband Man” practically invited the CIA for a visit by challenging the basis of America’s affiliation with Osama bin Laden: “My question is what character traits do they possess now that they didn’t possess,” referring to the U.S. training the terrorist mastermind before ultimately putting a global bounty on his head.
When discussing homosexuality and what he sees as gay people many times unjustifiably claiming homophobia, he says, “If you’re gay you should have the right to be gay in peace, and if you’re against it you should have the right to be against it in peace.”
But when the self proclaimed “King” was asked about those with choice words for his wife, Tiny, not taking the charges that became the parole violation that returned him to prison for his original gun charges, T.I. said, “I’ma tell you, 50 Cent and anybody else, we not gonn’a have no discussion about what my ole lady should’a, would’a, couda done for anything as it pertains to me. We ain’t gonn’a do that. I’m the only one in my family that’s gonna take a lick when it pertains to the legal system. I feel that a person that stands behind [his woman for a criminal charge] is a coward anyway.”
50 Cent, known to exploit any opportunity for self promotion, responded with a tweet echoing his original comments to which T.I. referred: “Man I just saw something T.I said in VIBE about a tweet I wrote when he caught his drug case. He just got out a jam and caught a new one,” tweeted 50. He went on to write that anyone else “caught with 10 machine gun an silencer then catch a drug charge” would get a prison sentence of “natural life. This boy got a get outta jail FREE card. Don’t get emotional over your lady. … Why would it be wrong if ya lady had to take probation?”
Of course in the WWE-like world that is the rap music industry, any publicity is good publicity, and it just so happens that both rappers are preparing to release new albums. And oh yeah, “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” —the rapper’s new reality show—debuts December 5 on VH1.
—Bruce C.T. Wright
What do you think? Is 50 right? Should Tiny have gone to prison to protect her man, or is that just absurd? Leave your comments below.