Grammy-winning rapper T.I. recently reaffirmed his position as the “King of the South” and let fans know when they can expect a new, worthy artist to wear his crown.
In Tip’s perspective, he will determine when and who can rep “King of the South” status after him.
“Eh listen, man, there’s no denying or disputing of that,” Tip said when asked if he still feels he is the “King of the South.” “Honestly, before me the term ‘King Of The South’ didn’t even exist. Just like when you think of freedom for black people, you think of Abraham Lincoln. Although there will be another King of the South one day, I’m about my wits to know that. However, that will happen when I say so. I’m going to determine [who it’ll be]. I’m going to determine when that happens and who it happens for.” (Ashley Outrageous)
Back in 2010, Tip said only Lil Wayne came close to wearing his crown.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Tip said about his fellow Southern contenders. “Another point I often make is the success of another person, the rise or fall of another individual has no bearing on my title. No matter how much a person does from this day forward, it doesn’t take away from the things I’ve done to this day. I’m gonna have to stop for a long time to let you start for a long time in order for you to catch up, no matter how much you do, and not taking away from anybody, not saying nothing bad about nobody — you gonna have to do what you’re doing right now times two, times three, seven times over in order to be where I am right now…As far as from a standpoint of success, the only person who is in a position to make a claim like that sort would be [Lil] Wayne, as far as success, from a numbers standpoint. As far as longevity and success, that’s the only person I feel like can say that.” (The Source)
Along with naming his 2006 solo album King, he also defended the title at numerous concerts including a New York show the same year.
“I want to see you get your A’s up,” said T.I. He was a few minutes into his midnight set at the Apollo Theater, the second of two concerts he gave on Thursday night. A crowd of people put fists up, with two fingers pointing down. They were anticipating the number that was starting, “A.S.A.P.” And they were also paying tribute to T.I.’s hometown, Atlanta. When T.I. first declared himself King of the South, it sounded like yet another hip-hop boast. But this year some listeners may be wondering whether T.I. was being modest. Never mind “Southern”; he is the dominant rapper of the moment, simultaneously a mixtape hero and a bona fide pop star. His recent album, “King” (Atlantic), is a strong contender for hip-hop album of the year, and it sold more in its first week than the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album. (New York Times)
Earlier this year, T.I. revealed his issues with the music industry and hinted at his Southern title being on the line.
“This is what everyone fails to realize. I want out. I want out, man. What the game is going to and what has evolved into from a personality standpoint, it goes against what I represent. What I embody, this game contradicts that. So I want out. I’m in it because I love music and I have obligations contractually.” (“The Breakfast Club”)
Check out T.I.’s interview: