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Outside the Lines With Rap Genius

"ItsTheReal Excerpt #2 - The T.I. Skit"

SameOldShawn: When you're approaching something like that, do you have, 'Oh, I want to talk about, like, hip-hop cops,' or does it just come out of having a funny idea?

Jeff Rosenthal, ItsTheReal: I think, just going back to that time, we always just wanted to find an idea and what the zeitgeist was within hip-hop. What was the conversation that people were having, and what could we bring that was different and that was both funny, but also smart? I think that, especially with the T.I. video, that was the perfect mix. It was like, T.I. is going to jail, and it is stupid, but it's really stupid because of this. He shouldn't be a target, because he's a high-profile celebrity and he's probably not actually going to do a violent crime. He's just obviously stocking up on guns.

Eric Rosenthal, ItsTheReal: And I remember exactly where we were when we thought of the idea. We were headed to a grocery store...

JR: We should probably say what the idea was

SOS: For people who haven't seen it, give a capsule description

JR: So basically, in 2008, T.I. was going to jail. He was arrested by federal agents for having way too many guns. So we did a children's...

ER: Like a children's book

JR: But it was like a guide from the DEA -- ATF, I'm sorry. And I did a Donald Trump voice

SOS: And you get asked progressively tougher questions and evade them as time goes on

ER: Our goal with these sketch videos was not only to do these heady ideas that sometimes were topical, sometimes were evergreen, but was also to give a different look every time and remain fresh, so people would keep coming back and know that they were gonna get something different each week. That it wasn't gonna be the same sort of commentary every time. We wanted to evolve, and we wanted the stories to evolve, and we wanted our audience to evolve

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