Exclusive: T.I. Talks "Swagger Like Us," "It Was Kanye’s 1st Beat Since The Passing Of His Mom"

Monday, Aug 25, 2008 3:30PM

Published by SOHH.com

Written By Danica Dow

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Over the weekend a star studded track off T.I.'s upcoming album Paper Trail was leaked to the net featuring Kanye West, Lil' Wayne and Jay-Z. SOHH sat down with the ATLien to talk about the track.

While Jigga, Weezy and Ye all lend their voices to T.I.'s posse cut, "Swagger Like Us," it's Kanye who made the biggest contribution to the record. He also produced the beat, which contains a sample of M.I.A.'s hit "Paper Planes." [Listen Here]

"He said that it was his first beat that he'd done since the untimely passing of his mom," T.I. explained. "He said it was the first beat that he went in the studio to do. I just happened to be the beneficiary of it."

Mr. West handpicked the beat for Tip and he didn't offer him any other tracks to choose from.

"You know how Kanye is," T.I. said with a laugh. "[He said], 'I got something for you. You like it don't you? Yeah, thought so.'"

"And you know, he was right," T.I said. "I think it's probably one of the hottest beats of the year if not the hottest beat of the year and I appreciate Kanye for giving it to me."

Paper Trail, which will hits shelves next month also features production by Just Blaze, Drumma Boy, Swizz Beatz, Danja and DJ Toomp. Usher, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake will make guest appearances. T.I. also promises "a few more surprises that you'll be pleased to hear from."

T.I. doesn't want to reveal too much more about the upcoming release. "I'm not going to talk too much opinion wise of how the album is. I'd rather let the music speak for itself."

According to the rapper, DJs and executives who have gotten a preview of this project said that it reminds them of T.I.'s debut album, I'm Serious. That was exactly what Tip was hoping for.

After hearing criticism of his last album, T.I. vs T.I.P., he put serious thought into crafting this new project.

"I started thinking. ‘What is the difference in T.I. the artist now from T.I. the artist in I'm Serious besides 10-15 million dollars here or there?' I said well the only thing I can see creatively that has changed is that I used to write lyrics down and now I'm coming off the top of the head."

With that realization, T.I. got himself a notebook and starting writing down the lyrics for the aptly named album.

Paper Trail will be released on Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records on September 30th.

[For more on your favorite artists from the A peep SOHH Atlanta]

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