T.I. (Clifford Joseph Harris) is an American rapper and music producer, born in Atlanta, Georgia, September 25, 1980. The bosses of the Arista label recommended him to change the T.I.P. stage name in order to avoid conflicts with Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest. As a result, Clifford reduced it by one letter, to T.I. The young rapper’s career developed speedily. He released his first album, I'm Serious, in 2001. It did not evoke much attention. Too many fresh rappers used to arouse interest to their name by giving their albums and songs shouting names. Accustomed to that, the audience did not tale T.I. and his release seriously. Nevertheless, his single I'm Serious with Beenie Man on backing vocals was the first song to reveal T.I.’s big ambitions. The basic message of his first album was the expression of his claim to the throne of ‘King of South’.
During two years following the debut release, T.I. was actively performing in Atlanta, launched the Grand Hustle Records and participated in a joint project with DJ Drama. The major Atlantic noticed the hard working artist and signed him. His second studio work, Trap Muzik (2003), became a smash. This emotional, sarcastic and obscene album had awesome promotion though clubs and airplay. Its best songs were 24 Hours, and Rubber Band Man. T.I got his name spotted in the biggest charts, as the high sales of his album made it gold. Instead of taking the chance to rise to glory, T.I. violated the parole terms and got put behind the bars where he had already been locked for drug traffic in 1998. His attorney convinced the authorities to release him. At large, T.I. produced immediately his next album, Urban Legend. The single Bring 'Em Out was the most successful track from the new release. T.I.’s popularity jumped up in a blink of an eye. This album earned the platinum status, and its maker was nominated to Grammy for the hit U Don’t Know Me.
At large, T.I. Produced immediately his next album, Urban Legend. The single Bring 'Em Out was the most successful track from the new release. T.I.’s popularity jumped up in a blink of an eye. Standard digital features 17 tracks including 'Bring Em Out' and 'U Don't Know Me'.
The release of ATL, a movie featuring T.I., coincided with the release of his extremely successful album, King (2006). The single What You Know earned him his first Grammy and the second one came along after performing the pop hit My Love along with Justine Timberlake. As soon as he had gained international fame, T.I. nearly died in a skirmish. After a concert in Cincinnati, his bus was fired at by a criminal gang, which ended in several injuries and his assistant’s death. T.I. v.s. T.I.P (2007) was almost as commercially good as the brilliant King. The session of the album involved a number of celebrated rappers, including Jay-Z and Eminem. In the same year, T.I. appeared in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, an established film featuring such prominent actors as Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Besides, T.I. founded Grand Hustle Films. The first movie released by this studio was Once Was Lost with Danny Glover and T.I. starring. In September 2008, he released the new album, Paper Trail. Its song Whatever You Like became the most successful single in this artist’s career to have speeded from #71 to #1 position in Billboard Hot 100. Release of the musician’s seventh studio attempt titled No Mercy took place in 2010. During the creation of that strong long play T.I. collaborated with such famous artists as Eminem, Kanye West, Kid Cudi and many others, and such joint work helped him to expand the scope of his creativity. The album No Mercy turned out to be a very powerful, elaborate and original work, which completely satisfied the listeners’ expectations.
T.I. vs. T.I.P.
T.I. went through big ups and big downs after the release of 2003's Trap Muzik. Right after watching two successive singles -- '24s' and 'Rubber Band Man' -- become the most successful hits of his career, he was put behind bars for violating probation that resulted from a 1997 arrest on cocaine distribution and the manufacturing and distribution of a controlled substance. He received a three-year prison sentence, only to be granted a work-release program that allowed him to continue making music (he proceeded to record several albums' worth of material). Then there was the MC's surprise performance at a concert for an Atlanta radio station, where he avenged the alleged shots Lil' Flip took at him while he was incarcerated. And that hardly covers all the events that transpired during the 15 months that led to Urban Legend, the follow-up to Trap Muzik. With all that chaos surrounding T.I., it's disappointing to hear him retracing his steps, rewriting old lines, developing with little progress. At the negative end, there's 'Countdown,' a flimsy rehash of 'Rubber Band Man.' At the positive end, there's 'Bring Em Out' -- a rowdy Swizz Beatz production with blaring synth horns and a sampled Jay-Z (from 'What More Can I Say') acting as hype man, in which T.I. rides the beat while bouncing off it at the same time. Some of his most incisive moments are delivered when the mood is somber, as on 'Prayin for Help,' where he expresses pain and regret without dealing in clichés. Mannie Fresh, the Neptunes, Jazze Pha, and Scott Storch also contribute beats; some are perfectly satisfactory, none are highlight-reel worthy. Perhaps it's asking too much to expect T.I. to show as much growth here as he did on Trap Muzik, but -- as is the case with Jadakiss -- remaining patient for that classic album (and you know he has one in him) is getting tough.
C. Harris / C. Thomas
Dwayne Carter / C. Harris / Jason Smith / Malcolm Young