In an interview with Power105's "The Breakfast Club," T.I. gave a rather vague but serious explanation of why rap music isn't the same as it was when he started out, and why he wants to quit.
"This is what everyone fails to realize. I want out. I want out, man," he said. "What the game is going to and what has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent. What I embody, this game contradicts that. I want out. I’m in it because I love music and I have obligations, contractually."
As to what exactly prompted this response, T.I. gives some insight, though little specificity:
"It was at one time, this music was about speaking to the people who felt like you feel. Now, the people I’m speaking to, they don’t necessarily feel like how I feel. In my day, if you were rapping about something you weren’t really living, that was a strike against you. You were held accountable. Nowadays, nobody even expects you to live up to the things you rap about. That goes against what I represent, what I stand for. So if they outsell me, then that’s just all the more better for me to fade to the back and cross my legs on my desk."
At this time, T.I. is not retiring, but he's clearly left the possibility open for the future.
You can watch the interview below: