- 09:00 AM, Aug 14
Labeled Jay-Z from the South by Pharrell Williams, T.I. unquestionably possesses all the quality needed to receive such title looking from the superb talent and skills he has shown through his growing career in American music industry. A native of Atlanta Georgia born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. on September 25, 1980, T.I. has been rapping since he was still a nine-year-old boy. He then signed a deal with Arista Records subsidiary LaFace Records at the age of merely nineteen. Initially going under the moniker of T.I.P., a version of his childhood nickname Tip, he later shortened it to T.I. out of respect for fellow rapper Q-Tip who also joined the company as its recording artist.
His debut album, "I'm Serious", afterwards was released in October 2001 and did moderately well as it managed to enter the top 30 of Billboard Top R&B Hip-Hop chart, evoking people to begin taking notice on him. However, instead of continuing the mutual cooperation with the label, this young rapper decided to go quit shortly thereafter to establish his own recording company, Grand Hustle. He produced his underground CD of "In Da Streets" which surprisingly sold for about 20,000 copies. Also receiving quite a buzz due to the high TV airing of his collaboration with Bone Crusher in the latter's hit single, "Never Scared", T.I.'s name was brought to other music records' attention.
Choosing to join Atlantic Records, T.I. did not waste any time to work on his subsequent album and quickly came up with "Trap Muzik" on August 19, 2003. All his perseverance plus dedication were proven really worthy when the sophomore effort rocketed to the fourth rank of The Billboard Hot 200 chart and number two on Billboard Top R&B Hip-Hop chart. Bolstered by catchy yet gritty tunes of "24's", "Rubber Band Man," and "Let's Get Away", the record found no difficulty in scoring tremendous sale number to finally earn Platinum status from RIAA. This attainment unmistakably propelled the charming fellow to national prominence, making him one of the South's most electrifying young rappers in that year.
Aiming to strive harder with his next project, T.I. carefully constructed his new materials while cleverly assembled collaborations with other hip-hop artists, such as B.G., Nelly, Lil Wayne, plus Mannie Fresh. Entitled "Urban Legend", this third major album was then launched by August 2004 to encounter a magnificent outcome. It topped Billboard Top R&B Hip-Hop and