(AllHipHop Features) T.I. has been very active and vocal lately between working on his latest album, 'The Dime Trap', supporting his friend and Hip Hop peer David Banner, and being on the front line with the protests of Starbucks and Houston's.
Tip believes that it's time for coffee lovers to take their dollars elsewhere following the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks.
A store manager reportedly called the police on the men, accusing them of trespassing since they hadn't purchased anything. The men were taken into custody and later released once the franchise refused to press charges.
According to T.I. we shouldn't spend money with businesses who do not truly respect us, and we should frequent such establishments until they have rectified their actions.
Tip was also on the front lines of the boycott of an Atlanta Houston's location after African American Atlanta patrons complained about the discrimination they faced at the restaurant. His efforts actually lead to a resolution, and the Atlanta rapper helped the restaurant with its diversity training.
T.I. was also spotted supporting his equally vocal Hip Hop friend David Banner at Banner's 44th birthday celebration.
David Banner recently celebrated his birthday in style with a swanky black tie dinner at American Cut in Atlanta's Buckhead area.
Inspired by Jay-Z's star-studded annual Roc Nation Brunch, David Banner celebrated his birthday by honoring those making a difference.
AllHipHop caught up with T.I. who discussed celebrating his friend's birthday and the power of the black dollar.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to be here celebrating one of your peers, David Banner's, birthday?
T.I.: Ah man David Banner is such an intellectual but ratchet partner of mine. I appreciate that he kind of helped me grow when we were both in our transitional phase of life. We did music together. We made money together, and we both watched each other go from some hood n*ggas looking for opportunity to actual astute businessmen who developed an acumen to not only help ourselves, but you know to create opportunities for people around us. To be able to sustain that over a period and have such longevity, I think that's something to definitely salute and to pay attention to.
AllHipHop: What's next for Tip and Grand Hustle?
T.I.: Well you know we gonna put out 'The Dime Trap', my next album I'm putting the finishing touches on it, and I know it's been under works and on the way for quite some time, but I give you my word. I'm finally focused and I'm in the third phase...in the third phase. Fourth phase coming soon, so it will be out this year.
AllHipHop: #MLK50 just passed. How far have we really come, and how far do we have left to go?
T.I.: Well we need to recognize the power of our dollar. You know what I mean. It's very strange that us as a community: African Americans and minorities in this country, we have the most significant buying power with the least consideration. If people won't consider us, then we can't continue to fund their legacies. We are going to have to consider those who are willing to consider us, and once we recognize the power in that, I think then we can all get to pooling our resources together and you know we can start becoming a self-sustaining economy, and let our dollar circulate within our community more.