Rapper T.I. will always be grateful to Eminem for standing by him when he was sent to prison - calling the hip-hop star's support "incredibly helpful" and "noble".
The stars first met back in 2007 when the Stan hitmaker recorded a verse for T.I.'s track Touchdown, which featured on his fifth album T.I. vs. T.I.P.
T.I. reveals the pair stayed in touch following the collaboration, and Eminem doled out "reassuring advice" after he was jailed in 2009 on weapons possession charges, and continued to write to him while he was behind bars.
T.I., who was freed earlier this year (10), tells MTV.com, "We been (sic) speaking ever since (the collaboration), especially since I went through my situation (having to go to prison). (He would) just kinda remind me that 'I've been through dark periods in my life too. You're gonna make it. You're one of the ones we need, so you're gonna make it. Stand tall and walk the walk.'
"He just made it a point to always reassure me of the spot that I hold in this thing that we got called hip-hop. It was incredibly helpful. It was incredibly noble of him, in my eyes, to even take the time out to reach out to me.
"We continue to stay in touch. He wrote (to) me since I was in the joint (prison). We've spoken several time since I've been back home. We maintain a healthy relationship."
The pair is planning to work together again on a song for T.I.'s new album, King Uncaged, which is due for release in August (10).