In the wake of the socially-conscious film premiering, the veteran emcee sat down with CNN political commentator Angela Rye to discuss the inspiration and important intention behind his latest visual endeavor.
During their sit-down, T.I. spoke about how the film is in conjunction with his larger mission to bring the harsh realities that the Black community face in the country to the forefront; something that his activism has been persistently focusing on through his recent interviews and his music alike, such as with the release of his latest album, Us or Else: Letter to the System.
With the film focusing on discussing police brutality, systematic racism, gun violence and the Black community's relationship with law enforcement in general, the emcee not only is continuing the necessary and difficult conversations regarding the realities that come with the experience of being Black in America, but he's also sharing a look into his own personal experiences, such as that one time he got kicked out of history class for essentially being woke.
While discussing his involvement in the film, during which he portrays different roles, including a "hustler," a police officer and a pastor, the emcee shared that he couldn't help but reflect on how he drew inspiration for his recent work from his own education, recalling a time where he challenged his history teacher on Christopher Columbus's wrongdoing to the point where he was asked to leave the class.
"This is what I see happening," the emcee begins. "I see strong levels of entrapment. Simply because, first and foremost, if you look at America and the history of violence that America has, in contemporary, more recent times, it's easy to say all the violence comes from the urban community, from the young African-American men. OK, but what about before then? What about when America was founded? What principals were America founded on? What tactics were taken to acquire this body of land?"
From there, the Atlanta native then shares that this is something that got him in trouble in the past when he was in school.
"I got put out of class because they were saying Christopher Columbus discovered America and I was like, OK," he recalls. "Let me get this straight. You're saying this guy got off a boat and discovered some land, right, and the teacher was like, 'Yeah.' But last week, you said he was greeted by Indians, by Native Americans. You said he was greeted. So how did he discover something if there were people there greeting them? He didn't discover, he took it, he stole it."
Take a look at T.I. reflecting on getting kicked out of class for challenging his teacher's history lesson in the clip below.