News: T.I. & Will Smith Comeback Albums On Deck, Says Game's Producer
Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011 11:20AM
Incarcerated rapper T.I. and rapper-slash-actor Will Smith are looking to make strong music comebacks as Game producer Mars has revealed plans to work on both of their forthcoming albums.
Along with Tip and Will, Mars (who previously worked on Game's R.E.D. Album) is also keeping professional company with West Coast rap veteran Snoop Dogg.
"[T.I.] will always be my brother, he'll always be a friend and production partner. I'll always be working with Tip. He's been sitting [in jail] for a year. So I've been thinking about my brother. I have all different types of directions, all types of different stuff," Mars explained in an interview. "We're working on Tip, we're working on the High School movie with Snoop and Wiz Khalifa. We're working on Will Smith, bringing him back. That's actually him on the other line right now. Snoop's daughter, we just put out her first single. We're doing the whole album. Mario wants me to d a mixtape with him, we're working on that. I'm working on Ashanti. We're just working on as much as possible." (XXL Mag)
This week, T.I. inked an open letter to his fans, promising to return to music following the end of his jail term next month.
"Now that I've gone through it and grown from it those words have a real true meaning to me. I know this won't be my last battle with adversity but it has truly prepared me for whatever else may come in the future. For that also I'm thankful. Now it goes without saying that I hate I had to come back to prison for these 10 months but I am truly grateful for the knowledge, growth and understanding I've received from the experience. Next time you hear from me I'll be back out there with you. Doing for those who can't do for themselves and speaking for those whose voices are never heard. When I touch down, I'm going all the way back to square one, like I'm fresh in the game and never sold a record. Back on some I'M SERIOUS, TRAP MUZIK sh*t... But until then RESPECT to all who deserve it. I'll be back at you in a minute." [sic] (Trap Muzik)
The rapper's previous solo album, No Mercy, debuted on the sales chart last winter.
Leading the way this week is incarcerated rapper T.I.'s No Mercy which debuted at No. 4, behind Glee Cast's Music: XMas (193,400), Taylor Swift's Speak Now (200,900) and Susan Boyle's The Gift (243,200). According to Nielsen SoundScan, Tip's new album has shoveled out 159,700 records after one week in stores. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
Smith's last solo effort hit retail outlets roughly six years ago.
Smith's debut solo LP, Big Willie Style, also appeared in 1997, notching the hits "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It," "Just the Two of Us," and "Miami." Shortly on the heels of his first box-office disappointment, 1999's Wild Wild West, he returned with the album Willennium. It also fared poorly, compared to Smith's previous material, and occasioned the release of a (slightly) more artistic record, 2002's Born to Reign. It also failed to live up to expectations, and Smith's next record, 2005's Lost and Found, was a sobering album. (All Music)
Check out some pre-jail T.I. footage below: