It’s been 20 days since T.I. caused a firestorm for saying that he takes his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah Harris to the gynecologist to check her hymen. And now he stopped by Jada Pinkett Smith‘s “Red Table Talk” to address it all.
The rapper made the comments about Harris when he visited the “Ladies Like Us” podcast, and it caused the teen to delete her social media pages. Tip said the doctor visit was because he wanted to know if his daughter was sexually active or not.
“Right after the birthday, we celebrate,” T.I. told the podcast hosts. “I put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno, tomorrow, 9:30.’ We’ll go and sit down, and the doctor will come and talk, and you know, the doctors maintain a high level of professionalism … I say, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this … so we can share information. Is there anything that you would not want me to know?’”
The backlash came from all over, and people like Tarana Burke, who founded the #MeToo movement, said the rapper’s comments are problematic.
But T.I. said his comments were merely tongue-in-cheek, yet still somewhat truthful.
“I think all of this surrounds a conversation I was having in a very joking manner, when asked how do I deal with parenting in this day in age,” he told the “Red Table Talk” hosts. “So I just began to, from a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate. I think a lot of people took it extremely literal.”
Tip also admitted that he didn’t understand the sensitivity when it came to discussing his daughter’s body but he does now, after the backlash. But he still said his words were taken out of context.
“My intentions have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived,” said the 39-year-old. “Let me go and set this record straight: I never said I was in any exam room. That is an assumption … I never said it was being done present day as an 18-year-old and I never said her mother wasn’t present.”
Tip’s current explanation stands in contrast to remarks he made in the original interview with the podcast hosts, when he said, “I said, ‘Look doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports, man, just check the hymen please and give me back my results, expeditiously,’” he explained. “But I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”
T.I. then admitted that his daughter had a “problem” with him discussing her body, and he offered her an apology.
“I am incredibly apologetic to her,” he stated. “Not to any of these other strangers or any of these weirdos, who kind of toss lies around for fun.”
The Grand Hustle leader also addressed the criticism that he isn’t as concerned about his son having sex.
“If my son goes out and gets a girl pregnant, how is the household changed for those nine months?” Tip asked. “The household does not necessarily change for those nine months.”
“Whereas if my daughter comes home [pregnant], my household is changed almost immediately,” he added. “The stakes are higher.”
After the interview was shared, the comments came in fast and plentiful.
“I like that he was open for discussion, but I still feel like he justified his opinion. I’m not sure he gets it,” one person wrote.
“This was very insightful,” wrote another. “I knew Tip didn’t understand what he said when he made that statement about his daughter hymen. So glad he cleared it up. He’s a great guy!”
“I dont think he really gets it,” a third person commented. “TI seems pretty stubborn & thinks hes always right so its a waste lol no ones saying dont protect your daughter they get that.”
And another viewer wrote, “This was sooooo necessary! I’m grateful Tip felt comfortable enough to speak honestly and to be educated.”