T.I. Ditches Atlantic For Good, Ends Free Agency Status W/ Major Record Deal

T.I. Ditches Atlantic For Good, Ends Free Agency Status W/ Major Record Deal

Grammy-winning rapper T.I. can finally put an end to his search for the perfect record label after putting in a decade at Atlantic by joining forces with Columbia Records.

According to a new press release, Tip will put out his next LP through the mega powerhouse.

T.I. has announced that he and his Grand Hustle imprint have signed to Columbia Records. T.I. plans to release his upcoming ninth studio album, under Columbia Records, early in 2014. Tip has recruited Pharrell Williams, who was influential in his move to Columbia, to executive produce the LP, according to the label. Their collaboration comes after the success of Billboard’s song of the summer, Robin Thicke‘s, “Blurred Lines,” which features both Pharrell and T.I. (Billboard)

The “King of the South” largely credited longtime friend Pharrell Williams for helping make the move go down.

Tip has also been working with Timbaland and long time collaborator and friend, DJ Toomp. “I’m honored to be partners with such a successful, passionate and creative conglomerate like Columbia Records, who respects and supports the vision of their artist and partners. Nothing but love, respect and appreciation for Doug Morris, Rob Stringer and the entire staff,” T.I. says via press release. “Also, a special thank you to my big bruh, Sk8board P, for always believing in me and also executive producing my upcoming project.” (Billboard)

Recently, Tip’s Grand Hustle sidekick Young Dro spoke to SOHH about the rapper’s free agency.

“I can’t really speak on [Tip's situation] right now because when it comes down to my friend, it’s important to keep that stuff exclusive and off the table,” Dro told SOHH when asked for a take on T.I.’s free agency status. “But I can tell you that Grand Hustle as a team has landed a deal with Epic. So we’re good on that. As far as T.I. goes, for himself, that’s one of the biggest stars on the planet, as far as in my eyes. We can rest assured that’s going to be a great deal however it comes out.” (SOHH)

Back in August, Tip spoke on being needing a home and not having a major label backing him.

The Grand Hustle boss completed his obligation to the major with last year’s Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head and for now, he’s just enjoying the success he’s having with his current single with Lil Wayne before moving on to the next one. “It’s a lot of work, man, it’s a lot of resources to be dedicated to it,” T.I. said of being back in control of his destiny. “But at the end of the day I think it’s worth it. It put me back into mind of where we were after ‘I’m Serious,’ where we had to put our own funds and resources into [2003's] Trap Muzik … I think that led to a beautiful situation … and I think right now we’re just working to reach another beautiful situation.” (MTV)

In May, the self-proclaimed “King of the South” said he generated so much revenue outside of music that a label had no choice but to offer him a deal worth at least $50 million.

“I am currently a free agent,” Tip revealed in an interview. “Everything’s coming out my pockets. Y’all do me all the favors you want to. [laughs] There’s nothing wrong with a helping hand. [laughs] You know what the problem is, nobody wants to pay fair market value. I done went into all the distribution houses, the Sony’s, the Universal’s and the Warner’s of the world and it’s across the board. The consensus is pretty much unanimous, they want to be in business, they just don’t want to pay to be in business. And so I’ma tell you like this — you might be able to catch you knows who’s out of you knows where but you ain’t gonna be able to get no ‘King’ on your roster, man or anything less than eight-figures. I’m just gonna tell everybody, let that be a message to you. I can nickel and dime myself to where I’m going. … You got the recording industry, publishing, you got touring, you got merch, you got film, you got television, you got fashion, you know what I’m saying? Technology. That’s eight areas of business, right now currently, that I’m generating streams of revenue from. If you feel like you want to participate in all eight of those things, it’s going to cost you about 50, 60 million [dollars]. But if you only want one or two of those things, then come to the table with 12 or 15 [million dollars], we can talk about that too.” (Streetz 94.3)

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