T.I. has decided to clear the air once and for all.
It was once "Kanye West vs The People," with T.I. standing in as a voice of reason for the people. These days, it's safe to say the tables have turned on the Atlanta rapper. After kicking off what can only be described as "Hymengate," Tip Harris found his parenting process under heavy fire from all corners. Everyone from feminist thinkers like Gloria Steinem, activists like Me Too founder Tarana Burke, to the average Joe with a Twitter seemed to have two cents for Tip and his annual gyno trips with 18-year-old daughter Deyjah. Before long, the usually verbose rapper found himself at a rare loss for words, taking the closest thing to a hiatus in recent memory.
Until now. Linking up with Jada Pinkett Smith for Red Table Talk, Tip and Tiny came through to tackle the hard questions head-on. "I came here for the tough stuff," says T.I, with a smile. "Hymengate!" He begins by looking to clear the air about the Harris parenting style. "This all centers around a conversation I was having in a very joking style," he states. "When asked 'how do I deal with parenting in this day and age?' I began, from a place of truth, I began to embellish and exaggerate. People took it extremely literal. If you put any of my reputation about who I am as a father and who I've been, I honestly thought people knew me better than that."
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When asked if he understood the sensitivity surrounding his comments, he admits a resounding "no. I understand it now, absolutely. However, my intentions have been terribly misconstrued and misconceived. Let me set this record straight. I was never in any exam room, that was an assumption, a falsity. I never said it was being done present day as an 18-year-old. I never said her mother wasn't present." Tiny backs it up, claiming that Tip was simply doing what other fathers might not do, and neither Deyjah or her mother had any objections to him being there.
Tip also explains that the main problem stemmed from sharing the information in the first place. "I am incredibly apologetic TO HER," he claims. "To you, sweet baby Deyjah. Not to any of these strangers or weirdos that just kinda toss lies around for funs. She understands my intentions and understands who I am and who I've always been."
He also maintains that he didn't address right away at Deyjah's request. "My daughter said just let it go," he said, revealing that she eventually told him to "make it stop" and clear the air. He proceeds to ask the women of the panel about modern-day fatherhood expectations, which goes on to spur a wider discussion altogether. Though it's clear his views are not entirely swaying the table, Tip continues to challenge the notion that a father should relinquish control, especially if it means sacrificing the ability to guide. Beyond the immediate "Hymengate" narrative, it's actually an interesting and educational (particularly on the topic of the hymen) discussion worthy of a watch. What do you think? Do you respect Tip's decision to stick to his guns?