Here are some excerpts from his interview in the November issue of Complex Magazine:
Given the strong “stop snitching” credo within hip-hop, what did you think of his [Frank Lucas] cooperating with authorities to shorten his 70-year prison term?
His situation was unique because he didn’t tell on no drug dealers or other criminals. He got his standards shortened by telling on crooked cops.
Is there a character in American Gangster you would parallel to your days in the trap?
I can’t even compare myself back in that day simply because it was a whole other day and age. When I was doin’ it, it was chaos. Real talk, it was easier then, too. Not taking nothing away from them ’cause they started it, but the police wasn’t hip to everything. By the time I started hustling, the police had cameras, the Internet, and forensics. [Back then] you could kill a ***** at six o’clock in the morning on his doorstep and long as nobody seen you, you good. Now you got cameras on street lights. I feel like if I was a hustler back then, I’d have a way better shot at it. People actually respected the game. Whereas when I was a hustler, a ***** would do anything for a dollar. Period.
Have you seen [Ludacris’s manager] Chaka Zulu since you had an altercation with him back in June?
I’ve seen him, but I didn’t speak to him. That situation was whatever. If you come out your face and say something, then you can expect me to go off. You should watch your mouth. I think my manager spoke to him. I got a great life and wonderful children, and I do intend to be here to guide them for the rest of their lives, and that’s what’s most important to me. Maybe when I was 18 or 19 runnin’ the streets and shootin’ pistols, but I’m not gonna blow that for one of these cats who don’t happen to live by the same principles as me.
You’re the only rapper to drop platinum albums the last two years. How can you say you don’t fit in?
When I saw Tupac talking that “Thug Life” shit, getting locked up for shooting police, and getting shot and living, that’s when I was like, Damn, them ****** is really about that shit. Now you’re just let down. This ain’t this guy that he was on this record. And nobody seems to have a problem with it. It’s a lot of fake shit in it. I like to consider myself an intelligent person, and this shit is not something of intelligence anymore. It’s getting real young and stupid, and that ain’t me.
Watch the T.I. Video Shoot here