Known To His Parents As:
BornSeptember 25, 1980 in Atlanta, GA
Also Known As
- Rubber Band Man
- T.I. served as Bow Wow's ghostwriter for a while. He penned the third verse and hook for one of Bow Wow's most recognizable hits, "Let's Get Down"
- T.I. was originally signed to LaFace as T.I.P. but following the LaFace - Arista label merger that placed him on the same roster as Q-Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest), he was asked to change his name to T.I.
T.I. Wants To Be Taken Seriously:
T.I. released his Arista Records-helmed first album, I'm Serious, in 2001. Despite the "big enchilada" production on I'm Serious courtesy of The Neptunes and features from Too Short, YoungBloodz and Beenie Man, the album was poorly promoted and moderately received by the media. Let's just say that the album wasn't necessarily king material.
The Rubberband Man Cooks Up Some Trap Muzik:
It was 2003's Trap Muzik (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) that actually solidified Tip's place in the streets and on the charts. The album reached the #4 position on Billboard and spawned three solid singles: "24's," "Rubberband Man," and the summer smash, "Let's Get Away."
Becoming An Urban Legend:
After watching his rap career take off with the success Trap Muzik, T.I.'s party came to a brief halt when he was tossed behind bars for a probation violation. Shortly after, he was granted work release to finish recording his third LP, Urban Legend. The album's lead single sampled Notorious B.I.G.'s famous rhymes, "the rings and things you sing about, bring 'em out," mouthed by Jay-Z on "What More Can I Say," and instantly endeared T.I. to a mainstream audience.
Like any successful emcee, T.I. has been entangled in some moments of dispute with other rappers, notably Ludacris and Lil' Flip. The most interesting twist arrived on Young Buck's debut, Straight Outta Cashville which originally featured T.I. and Ludacris. Both rappers hauled lyrical insults at each other in their verses, causing Young Buck to delete T.I.'s verse and replace him with The Game.
Having declared himself 'king of the south' over and over, T.I. started taking the title seriously. Many southern rap heads have objected to T.I.'s self-ordained king status, bestowing the adulation on Scarface instead. However, T.I. explained his stance on King (through Pimp C), stating that there are many 'kings' in hip-hop. His King LP was released simultaneously with "ATL" (T.I.'s big screen debut), and sold over 500,000 in its first week.