Though its release has since been largely forgotten, 2018 brought with it the confounding Kanye West and T.I. collaboration “Ye vs. the People.” Essentially a debate set to music, the song—the full title of which is “Ye vs. the People (Starring T.I. as the People)”—arrived right in the middle of West’s still-in-progress Trumpism era.
T.I., whose new album The L.I.B.R.A. dropped Friday via Grand Hustle and Empire, was recently asked how he feels about the track during a lengthy interview with Craig Jenkins. Even with a couple years of hindsight in the bag, T.I.—whose public expressions of disapproval regarding West occurrences has remained a frequent happening—seems quite proud of how the collaboration turned out.
“That track was a breath of fresh air musically, and I think that with all of the conspiracies, assumptions, and speculation that surround him and me, I don’t think nobody else could have had that conversation with him as eloquently as that record came out,” T.I. said in the Vulture piece when asked if he would skip that song if given the ability to go back in time. “I feel like it was just a perfect record, that only he and I could have done.”
T.I. also explained that he didn’t go into those sessions with a goal of getting through to West or convincing him he was wrong. Instead, T.I. said, his aim was to provide an “alternative” for listeners who might be tempted to go along with West’s MAGA-supporting message at the time.
“You’re speaking to the motherfuckers watching,” T.I. said. “It’s somebody looking at Kanye, and they’re on the fence about whether or not this shit is acceptable or not. If nobody ever stands up and say, ‘Hey that’s some bullshit, bruh,’ they are gonna fall over on his side of the fence. Somebody has to offer the alternative to that discussion.”
T.I. added that this is often the case whenever he’s publicly criticizing someone, as he’s aware that they are likely not in a position that’s open to the possibility of being swayed.
The L.I.B.R.A. artist also shared his thoughts on reconciling with Gucci Mane and Jeezy, the often public nature of his family business, his comparison earlier this year of Wakanda and Atlanta, and more. Peep the full discussion below:
— Vulture (@vulture) October 16, 2020
The release of his new album, his first since Dime Trap in 2018 through Epic, was complemented by the unveiling of a self-directed official video for the Lil Baby collab “Pardon.”