T.I. and Eminem share a connection that goes beyond respect for each other’s artistry. In late 2010, T.I. sought advice from Eminem when struggling with a similar drug addiction.
After being released from his first prison stint for federal weapon charges on March 26, 2010, T.I. took to prescription pills — oxycontin and hydrocodone — to relieve the pain he derived from a hefty amount of oral surgeries. Unfortunately, what started out as medical aid quickly turned into an addiction.
Fearing he had a developed drug problem, T.I. reached out Eminem (who has famously dealt with addiction himself), for advice. “I asked him how he knew he was an addict,” T.I. told VIBE in 2010. “[He said] basically, if you put yourself in harm’s way… if you risk that, you’ve got to assume that there is something fundamentally wrong with your thought process.”
T.I. told Billboard.com’s The Juice that, alhough he has yet to connect with Eminem since he was freed from his second prison stint on Sept. 29, 2011, the Detroit rapper continues to be an “enormous supporter.”
“I haven’t had a chance to speak to Em since I’ve been home,” T.I. said. “I heard that while I was down, he was trying to get in contact with me, but I don’t know if the dots just didn’t connect. [Eminem] overcoming his own adversities, winning the battle against his own demons and continuing to break the mold and re-set the standard of what it means to be the most successful hip-hop artist in the game … I salute that to no end.”
T.I. continued to pay respect to Emimen and his current projects. “I love what he’s doing with Slaughterhouse. I love the move that he made to sign Yelawolf. And the record with him and Royce da 5’9″ … that record is going h.a.m. He killed that BET Hip-Hop Awards cypher. I’ve been peeping the move[ment].”
Now that he’s clean and somber and living postively, T.I. shares words of wisdom to those struggling with drugs or having a difficult time staying out of trouble.
“It starts with you on the inside,” he said. “I can give all the advice in the world, but at the end of the day you just got to make that decision internally with yourself. You have to see that you are ready to make a change. Until that moment comes, all advice in the world is going to be in vain cause I’m going to be talking to a brick wall.”
“Everybody can tell you what you need to do, how to do it, when you need to do it, how bad you need to do it,” T.I. continued. “But until you get that right ass whipping, as they say, and until you have hit rock bottom or have seen something in yourself that is so out of character and it displeases you so much that you just have no choice but to change it … then you ain’t going to see it.”
Here is the interview: