Video: T.I. Vs. Larry King
On Thursday evening, T.I. granted Larry King the first post-prison interview since being released back in March. Although King didn’t appear to know much about Clifford Harris aside from his criminal record, he must have been surprised by Tip’s poise, intelligence and his ability to articulate his struggles as a black man and a successful rap artist without sounding like a whining victim.
For those who were not familiar with T.I., it appeared that the rapper was just another ignorant person with a lot of money and nothing good to show for it but some heavy artillery. But by the end of the interview, T.I. showed he is as intelligent as they come and proves there truly are some diamonds in the rough. King’s job was to lob some difficult questions at T.I. regarding his upbringing, felony charges, drug dealing days and see how the rapper reacted to the questions. We’ve seen some artists simply devolve into train wrecks when it comes to mainstream media inquiring about their questionable pasts. But T.I. allowed the hip-hop community to breathe a sigh of relief as he knocked out question after question with such a composed demeanor, we couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear that a product of hip hop was able to make an outsider understand the struggles of growing up poor.
There is nothing more difficult for a black man to do than to make America understand what it is like to be him. Sure, T.I. has done some things that he isn’t proud of, but he has paid his debt to society and continues to be a positive influence to those around him. Some people end up being a victim of their environment. T.I. could have fallen by the wayside, but he found his way out. King seems to accept T.I. and his checkered past more and more as the interview goes on. He almost seems to understand why T.I. feared for his life and purchased the guns. There’s an empathy you feel as Tip explains his story. Nothing ignorant was said that would make the community hang its head in shame. You truly get the feeling that the kid who was a straight-A student was bound for success regardless of where he was. Unfortunately, he grew up in a rough environment that provided many speed bumps before he became who he is today.
Check out the interview and chime in on how you thought Tip carried himself.