T.I. has ended his business partnership with his former protégé Iggy Azalea, the rapper told Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning.
In an interview, host Ebro Darden brings up T.I.’s work with the “Fancy” rapper right away, asking T.I. if he’s been helping her with her career at all. “It took a bit of a rest stop,” T.I. replies. “Have you guys talked?” Darden asked. “Personally, no,” T.I. says, adding that their professional relationship grew strained partly because of her runaway hype, and partly because he couldn’t continue to stand up for her publicly after her feud with rapper Q-Tip. Last year Q-Tip called out Azalea for appropriating black culture and detailed hip-hop’s history in more than 30 tweets. T.I. says he tried to smooth things over between the two offline, but Azalea responded on Twitter.
Still, T.I. says there’s no hard feelings between him and the Azalea; he had simply helped her launch her career and coach the Australian native when she arrived in the States. “She had a lot thrown at her in one time, any human being anywhere is going to have a hard time,” he says. “It’s very difficult to be the new kid and to be the butt of the jokes and to be directed, like, be the direction of all the negativity, you know what I mean?… [Iggy] came at a time when culturally, this nation — she’s not from here — we were actually looking for a source for somewhere to place some pent-up aggression… And they just got it for no reason. In some cases, they brought it upon themselves, and in some cases, they were kind of just the easiest place to put some pent up aggression.”
When asked why he kept referring to Azalea as “they,” T.I. defined it as “the world of Iggy Azalea.” “She is the nucleus,” he explained, “but there are a lot of other pieces around — including myself — that keep that machine working. And I feel like they have all the tools necessary to evolve beyond those situations.”
Watch the full interview above, or skip to the 2:18 mark to hear T.I.’s thoughts on Azalea.