The lavatory was a popular place for fisticuffs, since there were no cameras in there. However, guards frequently watched the punch-ups, because who doesn't love witnessing a good scuffle? T.I. downplayed the incident, saying the fight was just a way to acclimate himself into the prison community, to show his fellow convicts that he could throw, and take, punches -- in the joint, he's just another inmate, and not a superstar rapper. Following a barrage of Stern questions -- the whole situation probably sounded like Cool Hand Luke to him -- Tip didn't reveal whether he won or lost his battle. "You make it sound so sensational," T.I. said.
Here's Tip telling Stern about the fight:
And on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from brawling in prison, here's the rapper playing hoops with the ladies of The View:
While all the talk shows were treating T.I. like Red from Shawshank Redemption, let's not forget that the rapper is already at work on his follow-up to last year's No Mercy. "The first of two album titles I'm debating is Kill the King because in all that I've gone through I've observed how people respond to my circumstances, and I always wonder 'Why y'all coming at me like this?' But I thought, 'How do you expect them to act?'" T.I. told Rolling Stone. "Life is a game of chess and the object is to kill the king. If you anoint yourself king, you have made yourself a target. The second one is self-explanatory -- Trouble." Kill the King is potentially a terrible title; it sounds like he's actively engaging in a beef those who Watch the Throne. The Amp says split the different and call it King of Trouble.
Following the release of his first post-prison cut "I'm Flexin'," T.I. said he'd record with producer Pharrell Williams on a handful of tracks. The first of those, "Here Ye, Hear Ya," dropped last night. The song starts off with a patent Neptunes beat and two minutes of swagger rhymes -- a routine, unmemorable track -- but about halfway through, Tip goes internally for inspiration, and "Here Ye" becomes more befitting of a rapper who nicknamed himself "King."
"Still wondering where it all went wrong, since Phil got killed I ain't ever moved on, like I'm still in the club when the blows got thrown, when the crown fell down and I got dethroned. Bunch of n----- around but I still feel all alone, like a piece of me is missing, and I never came home," T.I. raps, alluding to the 2006 shooting death of his friend Philant Johnson. It's intense, emotional stuff, and it makes the luxury-rap movement seem vacuous by comparison. However, that's not to say Tip doesn't enjoy rapping about his wealth: He also added an excellent verse for the remix of Jay-Z and Kanye West's "N----- in Paris." Check out both tracks over at Nah Right.