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Features Published: April 5, 2014

T.I. – The King Is Back With A New Album And Tells Us About His Success – WWS Exclusive

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T.I. – The King Is Back With A New Album And Tells Us About His Success – WWS Exclusive

T.I. is an American hip hop recording artist, film and music producer, actor and author. He is also the founder and co-chief executive officer (CEO) ofGrand Hustle Records.

T.I. has released eight studio albums (I’m Serious, Trap Muzik, Urban Legend, King, T.I. vs. T.I.P., Paper Trail, No Mercy and Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head), with the most recent seven being highly successful on the commercial market. He has released such successful singles as “Bring Em Out”, “What You Know”, “Big Shit Poppin’ (Do It)”, “Swagga Like Us” (featuring Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne), “Whatever You Like”, “Live Your Life” (featuring Rihanna), “Dead and Gone” (featuring Justin Timberlake), “Got Your Back” (featuring Keri Hilson) and “That’s All She Wrote” (featuring Eminem). He is set to release Trouble Man II: He Who Wears the Crown, the second installment to his Trouble Man series, as well as a collaborative album with his Grand Hustle signee B.o.B, tentatively titled The Man and the Martian.

WWS: What advice can you give to the up and coming artists today?
T.I.: Well for the other artists, just perfect your craft and keep doing your thing. Perfect your craft first and foremost. I see a lot of rappers are more concerned about the business side of the industry rather than the art; especially in the early part of the game. It is a good thing to know and learn of course. But if you lose the focus on the art and music, there really is no point. If you are trying to be a damn rapper you’ve got to know the art before you know the business, or you are not really a rapper right? Haha! You can’t negotiate a contract when your demo sucks haha! You can’t argue over a good deal on the business side with a poor product. The first rule of business is to create a demand right? if you can’t create a demand and leverage yourself you will never get a good deal man!

Why do you believe your career has been so successful?
Well the thing is this. You have to be accepted by the people. I related to the people and they liked it. That’s really the best I can say. I did what I feel I should do if I were in their shoes as a audience, and that’s what I did. I remember when I wasn’t anything what made me like a certain artist. I remember what made me want to buy their records and support them. I felt like I could relate to 2Pac and LL Cool J. So I kept all the good things LL Cool J had, and added all the cool things 2Pac had. I looked at all the good things Outkast had and I kept that. I couldn’t keep everything you know, because they are so abstract. But I kept all the things that I could relate to. Then I added all the things I relate to from UGK as well. Then all the things I related to with NWA, all the things about Biggie etc you know what I’m saying? Then eventually I because a well rounded artist. That’s the secret. I’m not fake haha. I don’t say anything that I don’t mean. What I say is what and how I feel.

Before the success, did you vision all of this happening?
Well, God has always been a big factor in my life, but I did not see this happening haha. I knew back then that there was an open opportunity. I knew it was a possibility. But I could not say that I definitely knew this was going to happen. No I just simply feel like I can have a significant influence in pop culture haha.

What do you do to prepare yourself for the creative process of music? Do you hit the gym or anything ritual that you do?
Nope! I just come natural man. I just play the music! You give me the music and there I go! I hear the beat and I know what it is.

T.I. a lot of people want to know, what does T.I. stand for?
It actually doesn’t stand for anything haha. It’s more of a abbreviation, my name is Tip, so I just abbreviated it when my first album came out. It was because I was on the same label as Q-Tip.

Tell us a bit about your childhood and how that was like for you.
Well I grew up on the west side of Atlanta off of a street called Bankhead. How it was like for me? Well it was the ghetto haha, it was the hood. It was the same ups and downs, the same trials and tribulations, same cautions and precautions you dig. The whole world is a ghetto it’s the same shit going on everywhere haha. You’ve got Chicago, New York and even wherever you are right now. There’s the ghetto. I used to cut school and get into all kinds of trouble.

Tell me about where and when you started rapping.
Well I started writing and recording demos trying to get a deal when I was a junior in the eleventh grade. I got with PSC when I was about fifteen and started recording on their album. When I was about seventeen I started producing and what not trying to put myself on. So at the time I was doing all the beats and we made a PSC album. Then suddenly one of our boys got a life sentence for murder and everyone got discouraged and almost gave up. My cousin who is also dead now hooked me up with Jason Geter who then hooked me up with KP who was the A&R at LaFace who introduced me to L.A. Reid and I got put in like that haha. We released the first album in 2001.

Who was your influence in life overall?
Well if I think about it, outside of music, I would have to say the biggest influence on me was my uncle. If it was on the music side, looking at it that way, it would be 2Pac for sure.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 at 10:16 am and is filed under Features . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Comments so far

  1. Wild boy on February 10, 2013 8:16 am

    Love music and stay deticated is the formula to being a great artist

  2. James V on March 3, 2013 11:12 am

    Dope ass interview with my nigga TI

  3. KRAZ on March 6, 2013 7:42 pm

    gd shit bruh…preyn for a feat..from ya..
    KOOP HILL
    KRAZ

  4. bossman billions on April 23, 2013 7:38 am

    call my phone asap 347 510 6712

  5. C. Preest on August 26, 2013 7:32 am

    #Salute King! I ben rockin wit chu since “Im Serious”…glad to see how far u done came bro. What they kno now…i knew then…keep it poppin pimpin!! Bless.

  6. "Mansa Musa" on January 7, 2014 5:59 am

    Al HAMDULILAH! Real in Person Too!

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