AllHipHop.com: You’ve been calling yourself the ‘King of the South’ for a minute and a lot of cats agree, while it rubbed some the wrong way…now you’re on the way to superstardom…
T.I.:(Sarcastically) Oh we are?
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, so how does it feel having called yourself the ‘King of the South’ such a long time ago and finally having people behind you?
T.I.: Even with my first album, I always said it. Not to demerit anybody like the Outkast’s and the Scarface’s, the UGK’s and the 8balls, [but] I was just speaking on my intentions and I feel like it, and I feel that anybody that insecure with there self is unsure about their self. If some one come out and says, ‘I’m the king of the world’, I’m not going to be worried because I know where I stand.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, but do you think that older rappers think that you have a appreciation for history for calling your self the king of the south?
T.I.: They should. If Scarface, UGK, Goodie Mob, Trick Daddy, and Outkast don’t have a problem with me calling myself [that], they why do I give a f**k about what another motherf***er say? They not even relevant!
AllHipHop.com: Where does your braggadocios demeanor come from? Do you have any family or connections to NYC because that’s kinda seems derived from that?
T.I.: If someone felt that that who they was [from New York] they’d said it. I think people are mad because they ain’t say it first (laughs). It’s a trademark now.
AllHipHop.com: I was at the Source Awards and they were giving out yellow rubber bands and they said Lil Flip on them how did you feel about that?
T.I.: Ay man, listen… if a cat is fighting a motherf**king werewolf, he’s going to do whatever he can to defend himself. That’s what I think about that. He can’t do it lyrically, he can’t do it physically, whatever.
AllHipHop.com: Have you seen him?
T.I.: N***a, have you?
AllHipHop.com: I was in Miami.
T.I.: Well n***a, you should have called me (laughs). But on the real, none of that stuff surprise me, but what woulda though, is if I saw him somewhere I was, if he woulda called the label people and ask him where I am, so they could be there.
AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts on squashing it?
T.I: I heard that they trying to. But in the same breath, I heard that he told some one to tell T.I. ‘Game over’, again.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about people criticizing your beef as publicity?
T.I.: Man, me and [Luda]cris is cool. We handled that already. Me and Lil’ “who” are not ever going to be cool. That’s just not my type of dude. He ain’t built like me. We dance to the beat a different drum.
AllHipHop.com: It started with the T.I. ‘Game Over’. How sure are you that it was about you?
T.I.: 100% sure.
AllHipHop.com: Because people say that you are quick to respond.
T.I.: I am, and that’s because I don’t take any s**t from any body. I feel that you coming at me, bet. Plus you gotta look at a n***a background. What does he have a record of doing? I know n****s in Houston that knows that he have a reputation for doing this s**t - throwing rocks and hiding his hand. But when n****s find out, and take that s**t to his doorstep, he all like, ‘I didn’t say it!’, He’s notorious for saying that s**t. Ask ESG, ask Lil’ 3rd , ask a bunch of cats in Houston.
AllHipHop.com: In New York they have the Hip-Hop Task Force, do you think that’s something that moving down to Atlanta?
T.I.: That’s moving all over the country they targeting young people with money. These n****s be showing up to my shows and s**t waiting for me. I just showed up to one.
AllHipHop.com: Was the Ludacris thing a misunderstanding?
T.I.: Yeah, it basically was. The person I seen get beat down in a Trap Music shirt didn’t have a trap music shirt, and I kinda took it the wrong way. That’s why I said, ‘Me getting beat down, that’s ludacris’ [On Young Buck’s ‘Stomp’] we sat down and talked about and said if it ain’t worth getting in the street and fighting about it, we might as well let it go.
AllHipHop.com: You seem to be pretty understanding about it.
T.I.: I mean, we cool I holla at the n***a on the regular. We good. we got plans on working together and everything
AllHipHop.com: So why not Flip?
T.I.: Nah! You gotta understand that me and Luda had a relationship before this, me and Flip didn’t. I will never be cool with him or anyone with remotely close characteristics of him. I never experienced a guy like this, he is very slippery.
AllHipHop.com: What is you status as far as jail? Are you still working?
T.I.: Hell nah, I’m free as a motherf***in’ bird.
AllHipHop.com: When did it end?
T.I.: September 29.
AllHipHop.com: So now you’re free to do anything?
T.I.: Almost anything. (laughs) I just gotta stay drug free, and I am staying drug free.
AllHipHop.com: What did you do different on this new album?
T.I.: Well for one, collaborations. I never really had a lot of collaborations on my albums and on this one, I reached out to a lot of people I was interested in working with. And we collaborated on a few songs. I got Nelly on a song, I got BG on a song, I got Trick Daddy, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne, on a song. I also got Lil Kim. Really, people been asking me ‘When are you going to work with this person, when are you going to work with that person?’ So I figured this would be the album that I will make this happen.
AllHipHop.com: Do you look at this album as an important album?
T.I.: Every album is an important album. Every album is the most important album that you’ll ever do.
AllHipHop.com: What about Atlantic? They have the Joint Chiefs thing going on, do you feel like things are more in place for you to be bigger?
T.I.: I think it’s in place to make Atlantic bigger I’m sure I’ll reap some benefits form it, but don’t get it f***ed up. This s**t is for the company. Don’t believe the hype.
AllHipHop.com: Are they supporting Grand Hustle?
T.I.: They are supporting Grand Hustle, because if Grand hustle get bigger, they get bigger.
AllHipHop.com: What are you doing now?
T.I.: We got the S.Carter endorsement deal.
AllHipHop.com: How did that come about?
T.I.: When I got locked up, I got wind that Jay-Z and Steve Stoute were trying to get with me. So I called him back and they said to me that they want me to do this. Now somebody called and told me that they seen my poster up on 34th street.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have anything else coming up?
T.I.: I have the new P$C album coming. The album, 25 to Life is coming out 2005. Urban Legend is out now.
AllHipHop.com: Can you speak on the album’s title?
T.I.: By definition, urban legend is a myth, a false hood,. It’s only believed because it’s heard about so much. That’s what I feel is happening with my career and my incarceration, with the whole ‘King of the South’ s**t. So I took the time out on the album to uncover the truth. It could mean that I’ve become a legend in urban areas. So whichever one you like (laughs).