A man of many titles, T.I. has done it all. He’s a family man, first and foremost, a rapper, actor, producer, businessman and entrepreneur. Tip was recently joined by Grand Hustle members DJ Toomp, David Banner, Zaytoven, DJ MLK, D.J. Scream, Rep. Nikema Williams and other Atlanta officials to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his Trap Muzik album at the ATL’s Vendure Kitchen and Cocktails.
“Trap music is basically a philosophical presentation set to music that lets everyone know that number one, there’s a way out, number two, you’re not alone; number three, the lessons that you’ve learned from it is not in vain,” T.I. said. “The circumstances that we endured were supposed to destroy us. They were supposed to take all opportunities off of the table for us.”
Williams, who represents Georgia’s fifth district, spoke about how much T.I. has inspired people in and around Atlanta and across the country.
“I was once a public-school teacher in Atlanta 20 years ago and literally had to put kids out of my class for singing T.I.,” Williams said. “It was because they saw somebody who represented them and the neighborhoods that they’re from and saw there was a way out of their current situation and circumstances. I know what it means to have someone you could look up to show you that there is so much more in this world. That is what T.I. has done for generations of young people and not just Atlanta, not just the south, but the country.”
T.I. was quick to thank everyone involved in his album Trap Muzik and the genre.
“Although it is the 20th anniversary of the album Trap Muzik, we are not celebrating the album. We are celebrating the culture. The culture has evolved and existed beyond the life of the album because of the contributions of so many others outside of myself,” T.I. said.
“Trap music means the struggle and the grind trying to get it,” P$C rapper Big Kuntry King added.
On October 10, T.I. made his directorial and writing debut in the movie Da Partments, nearly 22 years after releasing his debut album I’m Serious.
“There is a lot of work that we put in and there’s still a lot of work to be done,” T.I. said. “I’m excited about all of the parts of the journey. Da Partments is a story about community and all the nuances of that community, the people that existed and ambitions and life lessons that come with it and their struggles and their humor. Art is supposed to be a representation of life. This comedy represents the parts of life that I feel a lot of people come from but don’t get to see on television.”
T.I. also spoke about prominent and well-respected Hip-Hop historian NuFace, who coined the popular hashtag and phrase “NuFace Was There'” and what he means to the culture and music.
“NuFace’s contribution to culture is incredible, and it must be celebrated and acknowledged. He represents the value of preserving history,” T.I. said. “A lot of these things, I don’t think anybody including myself really recognized the true value of it in the future. His preservation of our memorabilia is synonymous with the preservation of having Mike Tyson’s first boxing glove or having the jersey that Michael Jordan first won a championship in.”
Best known as the “King of The South,” the multi-platinum and Grammy award-winning rapper has released 11 albums. His previous album, The L.I.B.R.A., was released in 2020. He’s best known for songs such as “24s,” “Rubber Band Man,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Big Things Poppin,” “Be Easy” and “Family Connect.”
“Big Boi once said the object of the game of chess is to kill the King, and chess is obviously a game of life,” he said. “He was right about that, and I understand it more now than I did then. ‘Kill the King’ is really a reflection of the concept of killing the ego. ‘Kill the King’ is reflective of my understanding that one will starve the ego to truly find peace.”
Here are some exclusive images from Prince Williams/ATLpics.Net.