Atlanta rapper T.I. has stepped forward to clear the air on reports which claim he ended his free agency status for a major partnership with renowned label Columbia Records.
While Tip confirmed his next album will drop through the music powerhouse, he denied moving his entire Hustle Gang roster with him.
“Let me clarify,” Tip said in an interview. “Hustle Gang, we still independent. They’re just, we’re just here for the next T.I. project. Not to say that Hustle Gang is off the table because, you know, we felt like we had some partners at one time but I think since we made the move that we made for T.I’s project, I don’t know if those partners of ours is still at the table. That’s still up for discussion. But as of right now, Hustle Gang is still moving independently.” (Hood Rich Radio)
Recent reports revealed Tip decided to team up with Columbia.
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)
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Check out T.I.’s interview: