Music, drug and law problems—since his first day out the pen, Clifford “T.I.” Harris has struggled to find his footing as a spotless industry favorite, quietly supping painkillers to ease reality. Less than a year and Tip’s already walked the plank back to jail. But has the king lost his crown for good? In our December/January cover story (on stands now), VIBE OG Erik Parker queried Tip for his most vulnerable public testament. Below, T.I. recollects the night of his drug arrest with details never before told.
When the cop pulled you over, what went through your mind?
“When the cop pulled me over, I wasn’t thinking nothing. At that point, I didn’t even know what was in my pocket. So I’m thinking, Here’s my liscense, come on with the ticket. And he immediately opened the door like, like, “Get out!” [I thought,] This is different. You haven’t even ran my license, the tag, nothing. You just pulled me out the car and put my hands behind my back immediately. So right then, I was like, “This is some bullshit.” And then he started patting me down, and he went in my pocket and found the pills. And I was like, “Ahhh shit!”
You didn’t know they were there?
Nah, I didn’t. It was very small. Very, very small. This big. [Holds up fingers]
The D.A. is not going to prosecute, but you’re still going to jail. Was the police search bogus?
Absolutely. Well, don’t get me wrong—it’s only bogus if they don’t find something. If they find something, it’s not bogus.
That’s a mature way of looking at it. But was it bogus for him to say he smelled weed?
I don’t smoke weed. I don’t allow anybody to smoke weed in my car. Just as sure as you don’t smell weed in here right now, I don’t see how he could have. I’m not going to point the finger and call him a liar. It doesn’t benefit my situation much to stand on a soapbox and say, “He’s a liar, he’s a liar.” But there were no ashes in the ashtray. There is no weed in my system.
Whether you feel like chanting “F the police” or throwing Tip and a long, hard SMH, one thing’s for sure, Wiz Khalifa better be paying close attention.
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Behind The Scenes: VIBE x T.I. [VIDEO]