T.I. Covers Complex Magazine

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ATL Rapper/CEO T.I. is on the August/September  issue of Complex magazine. During his interview, the King of the South spoke about his last album,  new album, retirement, Jay-Z, his artist B.o.B, and his thoughts on some of the new artists.

How has having such big pop smashes on your last album influenced your musical direction on this album?

T.I.: There was a whole new audience introduced to T.I. by records like “Live Your Life” and “Dead and Gone.” I don’t think that I can properly maintain that same fan base if I don’t cater to them at some point. I got records that are way more left-field, mainstream, and universal than I’ve ever had. I got records that would be equivalent to Usher doing “OMG” with Will.i.am. I got a record called “Out of Control” that RedOne did. It’s a party record; Nelly said it sounded like Las Vegas club music.

The last time you were on our cover, you mentioned retirement. Three years later, on “I’m Back,” you mention retiring again.

T.I.: I’m kickin’ 30 down this year, so it’s about time to start thinking about an exit strategy. I’m not saying this is my last album or the next album is my last album, but I don’t see myself rappin’ for 10 or 20 more years. Although I could. Let’s say I do it for five more years, and after that, when I do an album, it’ll be an event. It’s not going to be day in, day out. Maybe every two or three years, a world tour, the whole shebang.

But you see artists like Jay-Z making great albums at 40.

T.I.: It can be done, but at the same time, Jay’s method is for Jay. I ain’t seen nobody else take that model and use it to their advantage.

Credit: Complex

NEXT PAGE: MORE EXCERPTS FROM T.I.’s INTERVIEW WITH COMPLEX MAGAZINE

B.o.B. just scored the first number-one album for a Grand Hustle artist who wasn’t you. How different was it working with him as opposed to other artists on your label?

T.I.: B.o.B. ain’t the type of artist you gotta be very hands-on with, because he’s already visualized his direction. He came to me and said, “Tip, I need something more urban, but still out-there,” and we did “5th Dimension.” Then other times, he’s like, “I’m just really trying to break into the urban market,” so he brought me records like “Bet I.”

Are you a fan of any of the other new artists in the rap game, like Kid Cudi or Wiz Khalifa?

T.I.: Who?

Wiz Khalifa.

T.I.:¬†I don’t know him. Kid Cudi, I haven’t heard enough. I like Donnis. I think Yelawolf got outstanding talent and potential. I’ve been knowing him. Drake’s the shit.¬†

How has having such big pop smashes on your last album influenced your musical direction on this album?

T.I.: There was a whole new audience introduced to T.I. by records like “Live Your Life” and “Dead and Gone.” I don’t think that I can properly maintain that same fan base if I don’t cater to them at some point. I got records that are way more left-field, mainstream, and universal than I’ve ever had. I got records that would be equivalent to Usher doing “OMG” with Will.i.am. I got a record called “Out of Control” that RedOne did. It’s a party record; Nelly said it sounded like Las Vegas club music.

The last time you were on our cover, you mentioned retirement. Three years later, on “I’m Back,” you mention retiring again.

T.I.: I’m kickin’ 30 down this year, so it’s about time to start thinking about an exit strategy. I’m not saying this is my last album or the next album is my last album, but I don’t see myself rappin’ for 10 or 20 more years. Although I could. Let’s say I do it for five more years, and after that, when I do an album, it’ll be an event. It’s not going to be day in, day out. Maybe every two or three years, a world tour, the whole shebang.

But you see artists like Jay-Z making great albums at 40.

T.I.: It can be done, but at the same time, Jay’s method is for Jay. I ain’t seen nobody else take that model and use it to their advantage.

B.o.B. just scored the first number-one album for a Grand Hustle artist who wasn’t you. How different was it working with him as opposed to other artists on your label?

T.I.: B.o.B. ain’t the type of artist you gotta be very hands-on with, because he’s already visualized his direction. He came to me and said, “Tip, I need something more urban, but still out-there,” and we did “5th Dimension.” Then other times, he’s like, “I’m just really trying to break into the urban market,” so he brought me records like “Bet I.”

Are you a fan of any of the other new artists in the rap game, like Kid Cudi or Wiz Khalifa?

T.I.: Who?

Wiz Khalifa.

T.I.:¬†I don’t know him. Kid Cudi, I haven’t heard enough. I like Donnis. I think Yelawolf got outstanding talent and potential. I’ve been knowing him. Drake’s the shit.

The August/September issue is on news stands now.

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Donovan

Donovan is the CEO and Editor-In-Chief of www.dmfashionbook.com. For all general inquiries please email don@dmfashionbook.com Donovan has a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from the prestigious Rutgers University. He's currently studying entertainment and fashion law.