Exclusive: T.I. Talks New Album, Working With Usher
Exclusive: T.I. Talks New Album, Working With Usher

T.I. has walked a tumultuous road since the 31-year-old rapper/actor delivered his last solo album. Months before releasing his seventh studio effort, 2010's "No Mercy" (which lacked a strong grip on the charts), T.I. returned to prison to serve his second sentence for violating probation. Although the music he dropped while he was away kept his hardcore fans afloat, it wasn't until the release of his new single, "I'm Flexin'," that T.I. proved that the king is indeed back.

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T.I. hit the ground running on Sept. 29, the day he once again became a free man. He currently has 45 songs in the vault that are being considered for his eighth studio album, "Trouble Man," which is scheduled to hit shelves in Feb. 2012. Some of those tracks include the recently surfaced club banger "Pyro," and the title track, which features a sample of Marvin Gaye's 1972 Motown hit "Trouble Man."

"I always do a lot of recording, so I have around 45 songs right now. I'm diversifying the project, just recoding different types of music," T.I. told Billboard's The Juice of "Trouble Man."

"A lot of times, I'm taking myself out of my element," Tip continued. "This is the first project where I'm talking about things that I've experienced before that I'm not necessarily experiencing now, 'cause I'm not doing a whole lot of partying. I do a little bit, but not a lot ... nothing like when I was in that life."

T.I. listed his dream collaborations for "Trouble Man" and revealed one that's already locked in. " Usher and I have been putting our heads together on how we can present that perfect collaboration between him and myself," he said. "I'd love to work with Ke$ha. I want to work with Cee-Lo, Bruno Mars. I'd love [to work wtih] Frank Ocean, Miguel. I like to work with a lot of different people that can provide a lot of different sounds."