As T.I. lingers in prison for a probation-violating drug bust, he is still creating a big media presence in the lead-up to his next album 'No Mercy.' The ATL rapper is covering the December issue of VIBE and speaks frankly on his history with drug use. He says that a series of dental surgeries and subsequent use of pain killers due to his rough schedule is responsible for the hold of drugs on his life.

"I had a lot of work done to my teeth," he explains in a frank interview. "Oral surgery, extractions, six, seven, eight root canals. Between January to February. As soon as I got out, I had a lot of stuff done. In the joint, you eat s--- that is unhealthy for you. I had fillings that fell out and stuff that had to get dealt with. Of course for the pain they gave me oxycontin and hydrocodone."

He claims that he cut off all drug use, including marijuana and alcohol, in October 2007. He mistook the legality of painkillers as a different sort of substance than those illegal mainstays and eventually developed a certain dependency.

"I had cut off everything -- weed, alcohol," he continues. "Then I get these pills and I start taking them for the pain at first. And then I'm like, Wait_this s--- makes me feel good. And it's legal. After the pain went away, I kept taking it. I had like five, six prescriptions. So I had, like 80 pills. Everybody else might have a drink or smoke a blunt, I took a pain pill. Times when I had 18-, 20-hour days, I'd take a pain pill. And eventually I developed -- I guess -- the beginning stages of dependence."

'No Mercy' hits stores Dec. 7.

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