Reflections External

I hate blogging about rap(pers). I try to avoid the insanity of it all
as much as I can, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. Right now
there are a lot of things happening…Kanye has an album cover that
may or may not be banned at Walmart or something…Kanye has been on a
bunch of shows talking about how he felt the need to move to Hawaii
because shit was getting too crazy or something…Kanye has some kind
of next-level-shit short film out or something… But I’m not going to
be blogging about that today (*ThirdRailShrug*) because there’s
something else on my mind. What was it now? Oh yes, I think it was
something about T.I. possibly going back to the clink.

It seems like it was only yesterday when news of T.I.’s infamous
parking lot bust spread like wildfire. Feds, cooperating witnesses,
wires… It should have been movie magic instead of real life
stupidity. And so now here we are, three years, some federal weapons
charges, prison time, house arrest, and many hours of community
service later…T.I. (or maybe it was T.I.P. that night) violated the
terms of his probation last month and is now sentenced to another 11
months in prison (which he may or may not be serving because in the
legal system, money can buy you loop holes and court rulings that
change every other week).

I think it’s sad. Really. And not even because a man can have all the
success, wealth and opportunity for a better life and still keep
fucking it up…but because at the end of the day, the statistics at
the root of these sorts of stories are heartbreaking. The bottom line
is tragic because it’s bigger than hip hop (word to dead prez).
Consider this, alone: The Bureau of Justice Statistics on Criminal
Offenders sites that in 2009, “Black males, with an incarceration rate
of 4,749 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents, were incarcerated at a
rate more than six times higher than white males (708 inmates per
100,000 U.S. residents) and 2.6 times higher than Hispanic males
(1,822 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents).” Unfortunately, numbers
don’t lie and there are plenty more numbers where those came from.

But instead of boring you (or shocking you – depending on who you are)
with more facts and figures, I’ll leave you with words from the man,
himself. This is an excerpt from an interview I did with T.I. in May
of 2006. Hindsight’s a bitch, ain’t it?

With all these messages being perpetuated about going to jail and
street credibility, being that you’ve had to deal with the prison
system, what can you say about that?
TI: Yeah, I mean that shit ain’t cool worth a damn… Ain’t nothing
cool about not being able to get up and go to the refrigerator when
you want, not being able to have a quiet moment to yourself, not being
able to use the bathroom by yourself, not being able to chill with a
woman. And I don’t give a fuck how rich you are or how much money you
got. While you in there, you’re still an inmate.

So what did you walk away from that experience with? Other than “never
going back.”
TI: [laughing] Yeah! But nah man, just how important it is to be aware
of your surroundings and to control your temper and to keep yourself
out of trouble. And it’s your responsibility to do those things. It’s
not the government’s responsibility. It’s not your mama’s
responsibility. To keep yourself out of trouble and stay out of jail –
that is your responsibility. You have the power to do that yourself
and can’t nobody else do it for you. And ultimately it’s your

At the end of the interview we did some word association. Because I
took psych in college and think I’m some kind of shrink now. Eat that,
Carl Jung!

TI: Mine.

TI: Find a way out.

TI: Mandatory.

TI: Frenzied.

TI: Natural.

TI: What’s that? [laughing] Temporary.

TI: Everything.

TI: Never.

by : third rail


~ by livefromheadqcourterz on October 26, 2010.

One Response to “Reflections External”

  1. tmz “updates”:

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