To kick off our first installment of #BehindTheBeat at 93.7, I sat down with actor, family man and reigning King of the South, rapper T.I!
In front of an intimate crowd of listeners, we sat in the iheartradio lounge as tip shared music from his fourth coming album "Paperwork" and candidly answered the questions that have been on everyone's mind!
In Part 1, T.I gives an in-depth explanation as to why he chose "Paperwork" as the title of his upcoming 9th studio album. He also addresses this weeks leak of the heartfelt track "Stay" (which I love!!) and who he thinks is behind it. When quizzed about the way he handles adversity, Tip shares his views on character and Manhood.
Part 2 explores the soulful influences T.I explores on Paperwork. Saying "Soul is something that never goes out of style", T.I explains the new ways he wanted to present himself for his fans on this album. He also talks keyboard thugs and his trick for finding them in real life.
In Part 3, the king of the south gives his take on the new generation of artists coming out and their "Know-It-All" mentality. When asked about his single "No Mediocre", tip explains what being a mediocre chick looks like to him.
Devi Dev: So this album is called “Paperwork: the Motion Picture." What does that title mean?
T.I: The most commercially successful album has been “Paper Trails” and I always wanted to do something as a continuation to that without saying part 2. So, I just tried to figure out another way to relate that to part 2 without making it a sequel. “Paperwork” was the prominent title that jumped at me and I begin to thank about it. Anything that you have that is authentic, lets say a watch, a car, phone, the certification for that authenticity is paperwork and me being an artist that has been known to be authentic in making music that has been to be authentic, the certification of it is paperwork.
Devi Dev: What were your feelings about the “Stay” record?
T.I: As much as people would like to associate it with things that are personal to me, the way that it makes better sense in my mind, is that if I kind of remove myself from it and just listen to the record and imagine as though I was creating a fictional set of circumstances, sprinkled with some reality in it. I guess it’s easier for me to conceptualization it that way, that way it don’t feel like people are in my business.
Devi Dev: Something that I noticed about the record is that is has a very soulful feel. It’s kind of a direction that I never heard from you before.
T.I: At your 9th album you must find ways to deliver everything that people have learned to love about you and find new ways to try and present it, but at the same time you got to be talking about something. I can’t just make songs about tennis shoes and people go crazy about it. It seems like you should have a little bit more to say. Soul is something that never goes out of style regardless, of you know, that’s classic and timeless, so that was the backdrop that we selected for this project.
Devi Dev: We mentioned about the reality show, how has that shaped you now?
T.I: It would be easy to say that I definitely gained more notoriety. I definitely attracted more eyes and ears because of it. Even more, I can say I shared the spot light and divided the seniority amongst all my family members. Either way it go, I salute it. I have seen so many different sides of my children and seeing them grow and evolve I think it is worth the ride.
DJ Mr. Rogers: What are you feelings on the current state of hip-hop?
T.I: I think probably my generation, say the generation of me, Ludacris, and Lil John, late 90’s generations, I don’t think we knew it already as much as this generation does. I wanted to hear what the people who already made it had to say. And now it seems as though most of the cats nowadays, they want to show my generation that they already know how to do it.
Devi Dev: I would like for you to describe what you would consider a "mediocre woman" to be.
T.I: I feel like women are the species that born into the world already on a pedestal, just because, and I think the only thing that remove a woman from that pedestal is herself and how she presents herself to the public. I think that it is definitely internal first and how you feel about yourself. What are you able to convey to society without speaking and then it's translated into what you are able to present physically.
Devi Dev: How do you feel about tramp stamps?
T.I: It depends on the tramp.
Devi Dev: We brought up a super good point because we are in the bad B**ch era, which I take offense to.
Devi Dev: Well I think beautiful woman, that’s wonderful, but beauty isn’t the only thing that should be held on pedestal. You can be beautiful and have a jacked soul, or treat people terribly and I think the bad b**ch era makes a lot of woman think that all they need is to make sure they look fly and that they're everything.
T.I: Well, you know, I think that’s the beginning of it. I think that when you present yourself that is the rule. Beauty is kind of what gets people attention -that gets you noticed. After you have accomplished beauty, you then must keep their attention with something of substantial nature. If you fail to do so, then beauty is all you will ever be.
Devi Dev: And that ain't much.