T.I.: Royal Rumble

Finally, a battle that goes back to the roots of the battle – a title. T.I. called himself, “The King of the South,” and all across the southern states, MC’s took offense. Most notably, Houston’s Lil’ Flip stood up. In the last six months, T.I. returned from a bid, to reclaim his throne. In doing […]

Finally, a battle that goes back to the roots of the battle

– a title. T.I. called himself, “The King of the South,” and

all across the southern states, MC’s took offense. Most notably, Houston’s

Lil’ Flip stood up.

In the last six months, T.I. returned from a bid, to reclaim

his throne. In doing so, he and Flip have come toe to toe, running the rumor

mill extra hard. The hearsay level is huge, and what might be beef, might also

be a complete misunderstanding.

Whatever the case, AllHipHop wanted to pick our boy T.I.’s

brain. As his album stacks up sales, and in between his charities, we let T.I.

reveal his perspective on just how the whole thing started.

AllHipHop.com: You in the news homie, has it had any kind of

effect on you?

T.I.: I will say man I couldn’t have paid for this kind

of publicity, this kind of promotion. So in this industry, I’ve been told

by many people over and over again man, [that] all publicity is good publicity

and all press is good press. When Peter Jennings from News Tonight called me,

“One of the biggest rappers in the world,” it gotta be kinda positive.

He used [it] in the midst of negativity.

AllHipHop.com: I was looking at CNN Friday and they had the

story about you doing an unauthorized video and the tried to make it look negative,

but you know how they do, you wanna tell me about that?

T.I.: To make a long story short, I went to shoot some footage

in a Florida County Jail, one of the jails I had been in for weeks from these

past few months, when I’ve been away from the scene. I went to shoot a

video and at the same time I was shooting the video, an inmate escaped, so you

know, that was a pretty big deal.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think it would have been a major issue

her maybe not got escaped from there?

T.I.: It wouldn’t have been a major issue.

AllHipHop.com: Was it hard for you to get clearance to do that?

T.I.: It wasn’t necessarily hard, it was just a matter

of asking someone and them asking someone an waiting on them to [approve] and

that was that.

AllHipHop.com: So is it a video that we are going to see?

T.I.: It was actually an introduction to my show at Birthday

Bash, which was the big major concert by one of the major radio stations in

Atlanta, 107.9, but you know deputies, sheriffs and what not where kinda guarding

the teleprompter and keeping me from playing it so it never got shown. But you

know I’m not gonna let it go to waste, I got everybody from the news media,

even Lyor Cohen [CEO of Warner Music, TI’s parent label] wants to see it.

AllHipHop.com: Yeah I was hoping I would get a chance to see

that there, because I heard some other things went down where you kinda barked

at your boy Flip from Houston. What’s really good with that?

T.I.: Yeah, me and that guy have an issue. Well, I have an issue

with him. He steady tryna’ say he ain’t got an issues with me. Well

then, I created an issue then if that’s how they wanna put it. I created

one because while I was away, he was in Atlanta doing shows in several different

venues man. [There] was one in Music Midtown, which is the concert that Z103,

the other radio station in Atlanta got. In the middle of the shows, he would

ask the people, “Who’s the king of the South?” and when my

names mentioned he would tell them, “Well yeah, well tell that n*gga T.I,.

I wrote this song for him and tell him I said game over,” and he do his

song [Game Over] and this is while I’m locked up. I suppose he thought

I was gonna be gone for a lengthy period of time and he wouldn’t have

to see me and whatnot. And the n*gga just felt comfortable in my absence. So

now that I’m back and out, the n*gga coping deuces talking ‘bout

what he ain’t say and what he ain’t do, [saying how] he ain’t

got no problem with me and it’s all a lie,’ man. I mean, he really insulted

my intelligence ‘cause I know better. There were several people at all

three events that saw what went on, not to mention that Music Midtown had him

on tape. And at the show on prime time, he was tryna holla at some girls, who

actually know me personally and he told them, “I run Atlanta, this my

city. I’mma shut that n*gga T.I. down and just watch when I get onstage.”

You know saying all that hating s**t and all while I’m locked up. I ain’t

even know that n*gga. I ain’t never had no dealings with the n*gga’s

projects. It’s a total contradiction. If you recall, he was just on the

cover of The Source with J-Kwon, and the Young Gunz, and Cassidy and initially,

before I turned myself in, I did a photoshoot for the cover, it was just me,

him, and the Young Gunz. And so I guess they wanted to reshoot the cover while

I got locked up and I couldn’t make it so they had Cassidy and J-Kwon

to fill in. And on the n*gga’s remix, the n*gga say, “You know you

mad cause I’m on the cover of The Source.” And in Houston on the

radio, on the morning show mind you, he said he ain’t say nothing about

me, he ain’t got no problem with me, but he telling them, “Yeah,

I had that n*gga taken off the cover of The Source.” Now why would you

have them take me off the cover of The Source then you wanna drop a song hating

on me behind my back? Why would you do that, how is that relevant? So the n*gga

really throwing rocks and hiding his hands. And he sending his p**sy and all

kinds of other people, to tell me, “Flip ain’t got no problem with

you man. Flip like you man, this that and the other.” Damn that! You can’t

squash no issue for him man, this man gonna have to come and see me. No disrespect

to his dad, his dad a cool cat, I spoke to him for a long time. And the n*gga’s

DJ, tried to holla at me at birthday bash, which is just another insult to my

intelligence for real. Because I feel like I know the n*gga, but can’t

no other man speak for you dog? You been in my city badmouthing me, so how you

figure that somebody else could speak for you. Yeah so I called the n*gga out

on the birthday bash, I said eh man, “Bring your ass out here and tell

the people what you been saying.”

AllHipHop.com: Was he there? Your a very intelligent guy. How

would you go about handling this situation if it comes to ya’ll crossing

paths or if he step up to you as a man?

T.I.: I’mma tell you like this homie, like for real, I

would accept it more if the man was like, “Yeah man, I said that man I

was trippin’, my bad.” I would accept that more than the n*gga lying

to me, insulting my intelligence, telling me he didn’t say this and didn’t

say that and even more trying to make it seem like I’m just flying off

the handle for nothing. So now when I see him, I’mma have a whole ‘nother

outlook and I’mma be in another frame of mind. He better be very selective

with his conversation ‘cause any wrong word and any wrong move will cause

an altercation. I mean all in all, I definitely wouldn’t want it to come

to that. I wouldn’t want it to be the reason why there is beef amongst

the Hip-Hop community. I don’t wanna be a part of that, but I mean man,

like for real – everything I did, everything I’ve been involved in has

been minor, me and DTP that was minor, me and [Luda]‘Cris, that’s

minor. I heard they had a song coming out, but for real though they ain’t

my problem, they ain’t never really done nothing to me dog. I ain’t

trippin’ on that. Even if they do come out with a song. Aiight cool man,

do your song, get it out of your system. Aiight cool, but unless we ‘finna

go meet somewhere and fight and get it over with, then I don’t see no

reason to go keep going back and forth. I don’t see no reason to keep

going back from he said this about me, I’mma say this about him, he said

this about me, I’mma say this about him. If we got a problem with one

another, we need to meet somewhere and fight and I’m down to do that.

But if that’s not the way it’s gonna be, then we might as well be

respectful and just respect one another’s mind and just let it be.

AllHipHop.com: So you ain’t with that back and forth on the records and

all that?

T.I.: Don’t get me wrong. Now in the past, I have done

that, but like you know, within the city [of Atlanta] man, it just ain’t

necessary. ‘Cause we see each other too many times, you know what I’m

saying. Too many times I see them and too many times they see me. The reason

why it never got physical and it never got violent with me, is because they

had never posed no physical harm to me, they had never posed no threat. It wasn’t

never no reason. I never had any justification to pose any kind of violent attempts

on them. So it wouldn’t be necessary, it wasn’t worth it, so it

stayed pretty much professional for the most part.

AllHipHop.com: So I understand that you are highly respected

in the South for your rap skills, and there’s a lot of people in the south

that may wanna call themselves the “King of the South” and I’m

sure this is where all the little spitting is coming from. How do you figure

you’re the King?

T.I.: Just like you said man, I only respect it, I’m respected,

first and foremost, just for my personality and my lifestyle and just for me

keeping it real and being the kinda n*gga that I am. I’mma real n*gga.

You ask me a question, I’mma tell you the truth; you ask my opinion, I’mma

tell you how I feel. On the real, if all these n*ggas thought they was the “King

of the South,” they would have said it before me.