Since being released from an Atlanta halfway house last month, rapper T.I. has been working hard to rehab his image and what better place to do it than on The View, and RadarOnline.com has video of his cozy interview.
The tough hip hop star looked surprisingly at home with the women as they chatted openly on Tuesday about drugs, prison and ….. shopping for machine guns.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, T.I. served a seven-month stint behind bars following a 2009 arrest on gun charges after he attempted to buy three machine guns in the parking lot of an Atlanta grocery store.
He was then arrested in September 2010, along with his wife, on drug charges when a motorcycle officer stopped their car on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
When asked on The View what had happened to land him back in jail, “I was pulled over and ecstasy was found in the car I was driving,” he said with a cheeky smile.
“I violated my probation so they sent me back to prison for 11 months. I just got released, I completed it.”
Barbara Walters gave T.I. some tough love as she reprimanded him affectionately.
“We have a warm feeling about you but these are two serious charges. So are you clean and sober and how do we keep you out of trouble?” she asked in a motherly tone as she playfully punched him in the arm. “Can anyone keep you out of trouble?”
Dressed in a brown striped sweater and preppy glasses with clean-cut shaved hairstyle, T.I. answered the 82-year-old host sincerely.
“Absolutely, I’m going to have to keep me out of trouble more than anybody else,” he said. “I’ve accepted that in order to have a different result you have to take a different approach.”
“Which is?” asked Walters, “Saying clean and sober,” he replied.
“I understand why people are so critical of me and I accept that and nobody is tougher on me than I am on myself.
“I’m not trying to make any excuses, I take responsibility for everything that I’ve done,” said the rapper, whose real name is Clifford Harris.
The Whatever You Like singer went on to address critics who marvel at why he’s had so many repeated brushes with the law.
“People ask, how can you just make those mistakes again and again? I think it should be taken into consideration that before I was T.I. I was living the life I was living…since I was about 14, 15, 16 years old. I’m 31 now,” he said.
When asked by Walters how he broke the habit, he replied, “I broke the habit, it was more recreational than anything else. It was a discipline factor.”
Despite his wife, Tiny, being with him when he was most recently arrested for drug possession, T.I. said it is his family that keeps him on the straight and narrow.
“Family, my children, my mother, my wife, everybody in my family is the most important thing to me,” said the father of six. “And together we all endure these pitfalls, these tough circumstances, these challenges of life and move forward stronger as a family together.”
As a sign of how he’s turned his life around, T.I. has gone from convict to a novelist after penning his first work of fiction, Power And Beauty: A Love Story Of Life On The Streets.
Bizarrely, Barbara asked the recent jail inmate when he had time to write a novel. “I did a lot of work on it while I was inside, I had a lot of time on my hands and it just worked out,” he replied with an ironic grin.
Based on his observations more than his own personal experiences, T.I. said he thinks writing a novel takes a lot more skill than an autobiography – and less predictable.
“It’s easier to write about yourself.”
T.I. fans need not worry though about him quitting the music business to become a full-time writer.
“Retiring from music? Nah, there’ll be more music, I’m not retiring, I’ll do it as long as they want me to,” reassured the No Mercy singer.