In an exclusive sit-down with VEVO, Atlanta rapper T.I. dissects the American mass incarceration epidemic resulting from the war on drugs.
He says his experience growing up on the west side of Atlanta left a lasting impression on him. That time made him wonder if he would be the next person to be behind bars.
“In the late 80s, early 90s, that is when you started experiencing people being gone for a long time. As a child, [you understood] where this environment can take you.”
In the 5-minute clip, the rapper recalls the time his uncle was sent away for a drug charge. During that time, his uncle was responsible for molding young Clifford Harris into a man. But his uncle’s 10-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine shocked him. T.I. tells the interviewer the drug epidemic broke up his family and took away his only male role model.
“War on drugs was formed because of crack cocaine,” he starts. “No one all of a sudden [learned how to cook] baking soda, water and cocaine and make a cheaper version … We ain’t no damn chemists!”
Furthermore, T.I. commends President Barack Obama for commuting sentences for prisoners sent away on unfair drug charges, but he acknowledges that more must be done.