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T.I. Talks ‘Identity Thief,’ Social Media and Gun Control Debate

T.I.
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Although T.I. has been focusing on his music career, he hasn’t stopped pursuing his other passion, which is acting. The Atlanta rhyme-spitter can be seen in the upcoming comedic flick ‘Identity Thief.’

In the movie, Melissa McCarthy plays a thief who steals the identity of Jason Bateman’s character. Tip plays a bounty hunter who gets to chase after his co-stars and thus hilarity ensues.

T.I. is known for his serious leading roles in films like ‘ATL’ and ‘Takers,’ but he was happy being a part of an ensemble cast for ‘Identity Thief.’ “I actually enjoyed the fact that all of the heavy lifting was not on my shoulders,” he said in an interview with Reuters. “It was Jason and Melissa’s show, so the stage was set for me to not screw it up, you know what I mean.”

Within the past year, T.I. has managed to juggle his music career, fashion line A.K.O.O. and publish a novel at the same damn time. The rapper-actor explains his side projects are ways for him to stay relevant with today’s younger audience. “The cool kids are out there being admired by others in their peer group, so you want to find ways to continue to put yourself on their minds,” he says.

“[Social media] is a big aspect for those kids,” he adds. “So with Instagram, if you take pictures it has to be a picture worthy of showing. If you say something on Twitter, it has to be something that’s worthy of listening to.”

It’s no secret that T.I. is a gun advocate, however, he can’t own a firearm because of his previous gun-possession charges. Nevertheless, T.I. isn’t afraid to state his position on the gun control debate.

“I see a need for them. I’ve been in circumstances where I’ve had them every day and nothing happened,” he explains. “I’ve been in circumstances where I didn’t have them, and I needed them. In certain areas of society, having a firearm is just as common as having bottled water.”

“If you’re a shopkeeper, a barbershop owner, a convenience store owner and you handle cash in and out of this area, if everyone knows that you don’t have a firearm, then you are basically prey,” he continues. “In these areas, bullets are just as common as sticks of gum, you know what I’m saying? So I think I speak for those people.”

‘Identity Thief’ opens in theaters nationwide Feb. 8.

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