Soulja Boy Responds To It (Of Vh1) & The Fake Ebay Chain Snatchin! "I Hope They Playing. I Dont Want To Have To Get Some N*ggas To Touch Them" & Pops Open The Jewelry Box
Since completing his federal prison sentence, T.I. has been out to reclaim his crown as King of the South, even dropping the post-bid single "I'm Back," on which he acknowledged past mistakes but seemed intent on looking forward. But all that hasn't stopped Tip from responding to critics who argue the Grand Hustle mogul received preferential treatment in being granted what a judge described as an "experimental" plea deal.
"What people don't take into consideration is the reason that I was eligible for certain agreements that they weren't eligible for was because I made myself a useful member of society," T.I. tells XXL in the magazine's July/August issue.
T.I. was sentenced in March 2009 on felony weapons charges arising from a 2007 arrest, when he was apprehended just before a scheduled appearance at the BET Hip-Hop Awards. The Atlanta rapper pleaded guilty in March 2008 and struck a plea deal: a sentence of a year and a day would be contingent upon the star paying a $100,000 fine and completing 1,500 hours of community service; 1,000 hours to be finished before entering prison and 500 after his release. Also, post-prison, T.I. agreed to submit to drug counseling, a curfew, random property searches, DNA testing and a yearlong home confinement, among other conditions of the deal.
In the cover story, T.I. says his community work was a primary factor in landing him a plea deal.
"Most muthaf---as catch cases and get time. My n---a, you wasn't doing sh-- when you was out here, so wasn't no reason for them to keep you out here."
Tip also takes on haters who have accused him of "snitching," a practice that has particularly negative connotations in the rap world — and which has proved troubling to law enforcement. The MC tells the magazine that critics should come at him with hard evidence to support their claims.
"Please understand the G code that I learned from, if you speak out your mouth that a muthaf---a is telling on somebody and you can't come with indisputable, irrefutable facts to support that statement, that makes you the sucker," T.I. said. "You are now in violation of the G code. And there ain't nobody, nowhere in naan jail sayin' I was on they paperwork."
The July/August issue of XXL goes on sale July 6. Tip is staying busy meanwhile, dropping new music and prepping for his summer release, King Uncaged.
I’m known as “the King.” Although it’s disputed by some, concurred by most, there ain’t no disputing that lion—that is what it is. So I went and told them, “Get me as close as you can to a lion.” He had a trainer holding him on a chain. They took the chain out [in post-work]. It really went down. I wanted to pet him. I said, “Let me get hands on.” They were like, “No. We could only let you do but so much.” So I did as much as they would allow me to do.
I figured we had to do some kind of slick and meaningful imagery to say the obvious without doing the obvious. I tried to flip it as much as I could. I wanted it to be a a busy city street. My original idea was to lock down Times Square and let me and the lion do the same thing right there, but we couldn’t quite pull that off; they said it had to be in controlled environment. They tried to a artsy kind of drawing. It looked good, but it didn’t serve my purpose—it was just a painting. I figured, if it got to be a controlled environment, we may as well just keep it all the way simple make it black and white, white background, me, him, cool chair.
It says itself; it’s self-explanatory. I don’t have to write “King;” I don’t have to write “Uncaged.” Everything is right there. It’s said. [My record label, Atlantic] knows by now to rock with me. We done did this enough times before. On the King album when I didn’t really want to show my face, that wasn’t really looked at as the ideal move to make, but I feel like iconic imagery speaks for itself. You ain’t got to beat people in the head with what you’re trying to say. Everything understood don’t need to be explained.
It's been in the works for a while — such is the peril of having two stars with such busy schedules — but now, it's finally here: B.o.B and Hayley Williams' video for "Airplanes" premiered on iTunes on Tuesday (June 15).
B.o.B shot his scenes for the video in April, and Williams didn't do her part until after Paramore finished their spring tour. But despite the fact that the two stars were never even in the same room during filming, the final result is quite seamless: a moody, swirling video that perfectly matches the ominous, somber tone of the song.
B.o.B performs his scenes in an empty warehouse, a dark, dead space that's given an electric overhaul (and faint heartbeat) with the creative lighting (and lasers!) of director Hiro Murai. Williams' scenes also take place in the dark, though Murai bathes her in a swirling cosmos of lights and colors, a psychedelic effect that almost swallows her up.
Much like the song itself, there's an emptiness to the "Airplanes" video, a dark, cavernous space that light cannot penetrate. It implies a void that will never be filled, no matter how hard you try. It can be seen as a metaphor for fame — the loneliness that only the famous know, the cavernous expanses of geography and emotion. It's sort of a beautiful bummer, to be honest. In that sense, "Airplanes" recalls Drake and Trey Songz's equally somber "Successful" video, another clip that explored the downside of celebrity and success.
There's an art to such metaphors. It's not complaining if you do it right. And in the case of "Airplanes," a deft, decidedly human take on the pitfalls of everyone knowing your name (but never understanding your pain), B.o.B and Hayley Williams definitely did it right.