Before the American’s Most Wanted Tour with Lil Wayne, T.I. called up the Hot Afternoon Show with Jenny Boom Boom & DJ Craig G. T.I. talks VH1’s TI & Tiny reality show, as well as the new directions he’s planning for his upcoming album.
This summer, T.I. is tearing up the stage alongside Lil Wayne on the America’s Most Wanted Tour, including an amazing stop in Hartford last week. The rapper said this tour is his main area of focus at the moment, despite also getting ready for the December release of his next album, Trouble Man: He Who Wears The Crown.
“Right now, i’m completely consumed with the tour, although my off days we keep going to the studios and banging out records,” T.I. recalled. “I want to make sure we keep focused on the tour right now. After September 1st, I’m gonna do about 30 more days of hardcore recording– day in, day out– and we’ll be ready to release by December.”
The rapper has big plans for the new album, which he believes will be his most diverse project yet. “I’m going to try to make sure it’s as rounded as it was last time, I just want to make it broader,” he said of the album. “Musically, production-wise, I want to make sure we cast a wide net this time.”
For some artists, a description like this suggests a move into the Top 40/ pop music territory, but T.I. is hesitant to say he’s crossing over. “I don’t want to classify a genre, I want to broaden the scope of people who would be able to relate to the music. But I don’t want to sacrifice any of the integrity of the music,” he explained. The rapper, who tends to reinvent himself with each new release, did suggest the new album will be like nothing we have heard from him before.
“We do the best we can in staying relevant and speaking to the people who need to hear it the most,” he explained. “Last time, I was becoming re-acclimated to my position in the business, so I had to re-establish myself on a certain level. I think now is time to broaden our horizons and spread our wings a bit.”
It’s still early to reveal any features, but T.I. did share some intriguing names on his hit list… artists like Stevie Wonder and Frankie Beverly and Maze. “There’s a plethora of different people who could help me with what I’m trying to do,” he explained. “I just want to make sure I have the outline, the blueprint of it first, so when I play it for them, they’ll see my vision.”
As the America’s Most Wanted Tour continues and the album continues to take shape, T.I. is also juggling his family and the upcoming season of T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle. He’s able to balance everything by multi-tasking, as the new season of the show is filming on the road while he tours. Fans can look forward to revisiting this huge summer tour on the small screen when the show returns, but past that T.I. said he’s not sure what else to expect from the hit reality series. “Every day is an adventure,” he said. “I cannot even begin to try to prepare you.”
–Bill Sencio, Hot 93.7/ Hartford