Grammy-winning rapper T.I. recently updated fans on his status as a free agent in the music industry and why rap mogul Jay Z is leading by example with his recent Samsung partnership.
Despite having platinum-selling albums and box office hits to his name, Tip said record labels are still not ready to cave in on giving him a respectable offer.
“I don’t even know if there will be a next deal,” Tip said in an interview. “I don’t know because for an artist of my caliber, in order to go out there and do a deal and pretty much lock yourself down with a distributor, that’s a considerable investment. You can’t just go sign superstars for hundreds of thousands of dollars nowadays, so, not even just saying, if you’re at it like you’re signing an artist, you’re already looking at it backwards. You got to look at it like you’re acquiring a multi-media company because I operate in so many different facets.” (“The Round Up”)
Tip also addressed fellow rap stars like Jay Z going away from the traditional ways of dropping new music and teaming up with companies like tech giant Samsung to get their tunes out.
“It’s double [inspiring],” Tip added when asked about his take on artists like Jay Z doing deals away from traditional record labels to release music. “We’re masters of solutions. Champions find a way. When we’re faced with the most adversel, most enormous probems, we don’t shy away from them and say, ‘Ah well, it’s not working today. I’m going to go do something else.’ Man, we gotta sit here and figure this out. We gotta analyze it, study it, go over each meticulous detail and we got to find a way to turn it around and strategically align ourselves with the right way to do it. So I think that’s what Jay was able to do and those of us who will remain significant to the culture and to the art form, we shall continue to find ways to do it.” (“The Round Up”)
The self-proclaimed “King of the South” recently said music labels miss his younger and more hardcore rap persona.
“Nah, they hated it. Labels love hardcore T.I. That keeps the cash register ringing. They don’t want me to go to prison and caught though. They want me to be the Teflon Don, and I can’t blame them. That shit’s sexy. But I’m older, man. I’m wiser, I’m calmer… I’m better, stronger. I’m ready for whatever tomorrow got coming.” (XXL Magazine)
Recently, Bad Boy Records CEO Diddy boasted about Young Hov changing the industry with his Samsung gig.
“While I was out here [in Cannes] I called Jay and me and him been talking back and forth about the network and about his deal and how proud we were of each other. We’re actually changing together the business model of the music industry. As far as our power, you can see the power that we have, not me and Jay-Z, the power that we have as a culture that Samsung now is going to give Apple a run for its money. People actually believe and we believe in our leaders in hip-hop. What they say is cool and what they say is next and we recognized that what Samsung is doing is moving forward. We were like “Hey man, we may need to give this Galaxy joint a chance” and that’s a lot of power, man.” (VIBE)
Check out T.I.’s interview: