A King Bows to No One. T.I. Leaves Columbia to Go Independent (Video)
T.I. has released five platinum and two gold albums in his 15-year career. The Atlanta, Georgia native MC and Grand Hustle Records founder is one of Rap’s best sellers, with 2008’s Paper Trail being one of the few triple-platinum works of recent years. After a brief, one-album stint at Columbia/Sony Records, TIP (as he now officially goes by) is out the door.
Speaking with Hits Daily Double, the artist with two #1 singles under his belt (and two more as a guest) reveals he is “able to control [his] destiny and put music out as quickly as [he] want[s] to,” while he’s “sorting out [his] next situation,” possibly a reference to shopping for another deal. “Having just exited my deal at Columbia [Records], I was a rogue artist, busting creativity, just waiting to put music in the marketplace,” T.I. said of recording his Da Nic EP, released one week ago (September 11). Short for “the nickel,” the five-song EP features Young Thug and Tip’s longtime protege, Young Dro. The effort was released independently through King, Inc.—T.I.’s latest venture.
Since 2001’s I’m Serious, T.I. has been signed to the defunct Arista Records (through Ghet-O-Vision), Atlantic Records, where he released seven solo full-lengths, and Columbia. Last October’s Paperwork debuted at #2. Tip spoke with Hot 97 about being independent, the differences between Iggy Azalea and Travis $cott, his TV career, future movie plans, distancing himself from Iggy’s tiff with Q-Tip and much more, in a 30-minute interview that is worth every bit of the time.
As artists like Game and 50 Cent have gone completely independent, is that the next move for the Trap superstar? Or could T.I. rejoin Atlantic, where he was once “Joint Chief” and a decade-plus flagship?