T.I. sits somewhere between remorseful and irritated in the video for his new album’s title track, The-Dream-assisted “No Mercy.” Sitting in a church, the now-incarcerated rhymer blames poor school systems, poor upbringings, and hypocrite haters for his current issues with the law, while taking some of the blame for possibly blowing amazing opportunities afforded to him by his talent. He also likens himself to slain rapper Tupac Shakur, who also had numerous run-ins with the law before being shot.
“Could it be possibly the second coming of ‘Pac is me?” he asks in the song. “Remember that? When he was here? And when he died you realized you need him here? God with me, partner. Ain’t no one for me to fear.” T.I. also says the money and success he’s earned just make it harder to believe that his life is still a rough one. “You can be for certain ain’t nobody perfect. But when you’re rich, nobody gives a s—, no mercy.”
True as that may be, it’s difficult to feel for a person as gifted and [seemingly] financially well off as T.I. when he makes so many ill-advised, potentially career-ending mistakes. If he’s to be held at the same regard as his peers, then he has to be able compete with them. And that can’t be done from jail. Jay-Z, an admitted former drug dealer, has been on the up and up for more than a decade now. And for all the bonehead moves Kanye West is criticized for, he’s at least managed to avoid the revolving door that sometimes appears to vacuum rappers into jails and courthouses.
Watch T.I. plead his case after the jump and let us know what you think of the video.