Rapper T.I. gave his first post-prison interview to Larry King Live last night (Thurs. May 13) on CNN.

T.I. (real name: Clifford Harris) was sentenced to 366 days in prison last year following his October 2007 arrest for attempting to illegally purchase a slew of firearms. In December of last year, the Atlanta rapper was released from prison and admitted to a halfway house before being fully released at the end of March 2010.

Tip got right to the point in the extremely detailed interview and explained to Larry King why he had all of those guns:

“It came from an attempt that was made on my life,” he said. “My best friend [Philant Johnson] had died in my arms. It caused a state of depression and paranoia. My judgment was jaded, and I felt my life was in danger. … At the time, when I felt the need to have these things, I never took into consideration the legalities; I only took into consideration the protection of my life and family.”

Throughout the interview, T.I. was calm and composed and answered all of King’s questions without pause — save for when the CNN vet asked if he had ever shot a gun at anyone. T.I. called out the Fifth Amendment before answering that he had shot a gun “at a range.” Regardless, anything having to do with drugs or guns was referred to as “my past.” T.I. seemed genuinely focused on his future, working with at-risk youth and mentioned his love for his six children and “special lady” Tameka. He also reiterated his personal responsibility in moving on from the events that led to his incarceration.

“The main thing I can do to protect myself in the future is to understand my position,” he said. “I can’t put myself in an environment where it will require me to have a handgun. I just stay places where I can be cool. I have security now. … I take full responsibility for everything that happened to me. I’m a full believer that your life is what you make it. Society doesn’t owe you anything.”


Check out T.I.’s interview with Larry King below…






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